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Posts Tagged ‘NBC’

AACMWith an estimated 310 million people residing in the U.S., marketing to each person is the most arduous processes any company can undertake.  As a result, they slice and dice the population into sub-categories with facts, figures, and statistics which include demographics on ethnicity, age, gender, household characteristics, postal code data, purchasing influences along with many other attributes to develop a target market strategy.

Speaking of target markets… African Americans have a lot of influence on today’s culture and taste — and I’m talking beyond the role of hip-hop music and the issues of social responsibility vs. freedom of expression surrounding misogynistic words.  Harley-Davidson has recognized this influence and applied various perspectives on how the company will market to the African-American consumer.   Last April, H-D assigned John Comissiong to oversee the development of strategic marketing opportunities for the African American customer segment as the director of Market Outreach.

Mr. Comissiong is highly qualified and very well educated, holding multiple degrees including a Bachelor of Science in engineering from Cornell University, a Master of Science in engineering from Stony Brook University and a Master of Business Administration from Duke University.  In addition he is a licensed motorcycle rider and can be often seen on his Night Rod Special!!  In essence his job is to determine how H-D can obtain a disproportionate share of the $744 Billion in income which the 38.3 Million African-American consumers spend annually.  More specific, is the approximately $32B spent each year on Cars, Trucks and Motorcycles — how can H-D get more of those $$?!  It’s always about money.

Maurice Slaughter

Maurice Slaughter

This isn’t new behavior from corporate America.  For example, recently NBC News launched TheGrio.com, an African American ‘video-centric’ Web site devoted to stories and perspectives that appeal to the African American community.  Even the White House/Obama’s are expanding African American family definitions beyond Bill Cosby’s Huxtables with real-world examples and influence. 

So, what’s in it for H-D?  Today African American’s account for only 1.5% of new motorcycle sales. Even worse is that 7.9% of H-D’s total U.S. sales are to African Americans.  There are more less flattering stats.  Seven out of approximately 700 dealerships are owned by African American’s like Maurice Slaughter.  Few people of color sit on the company’s board or are members of the senior management and less than 10% of the employee base is African American.  H-D purchases approx $190M worth of material from minority-owned suppliers.   Representation of African American motorcycle clubs is fairly robust with: Buffalo Soldiers, Defiant Ones, Rare Breed, Magic Wheels, Soul Brothers and East Bay Dragons to name a few.

H-D has focused on the African American consumer market (AACM) with co-sponsorships at the NAACP Image Awards, the Atlantic or Urban Beach Bike Festival (referred to as Black Bike Week) and celebrating heritage “Bikers on the Boulevard” in Daytona.  They work with celeb’s and community leaders for opportunities to interact or obtain endorsements of H-D products in the African American community which in marketing terms is designed to create the perception that H-D understands African American needs and strengthens its credibility with that market segment.

I’ve been somewhat skeptical of H-D’s minority oriented efforts as sales and marketing issues are complex.  They do require creative actions and placing John Comissiong to maximize exposure and convey that H-D is relevant in the African American lifestyle and culture seems sincere and less of a stunt or a photo op.  Whether trend-setting celebs or average Joes, stimulating a dialogue between company representatives and motorcycle enthusiasts of ALL genre’s means H-D gets product feedback and company’s should never turn down a social opportunity with customers!

Photo courtesy Virginian-Pilot and Maurice Slaughter.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog
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er1Trip and fall breaking your arm at home – no problem.  Slip out of your saddle and break your arm while enjoying your motorcycle hobby – you may get slapped with a major medical bill!

Why?  Health plans do not have to notify individuals and employers of any exclusions or limitations on their health benefits at the point of sale.  Many employers or individual “consumers” shopping for health care coverage are led to believe that care for the broken arm, for example, is the same regardless of how the injury happened – but this is not the case.

But, it looks like help is on the way.  Congressman Michael Burgess, MD (R-Texas), introduced the Burgess Bill (HR1253) requiring more transparency in health insurance.  The bill would make a technical correction to HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and would instruct health plans to notify individuals and employers of any exclusions in health benefits.  The bill recently passed the house and will:

  1. Require that any limitations and restrictions on health plan benefits be explicit and clear;
  2. Require that the health plan be disclosed to the sponsor of the group health plan in advance of sale and,
  3. Require that the issuer, in an easy to understand way, provide participants and beneficiaries a description of the limitations and restrictions as soon as they enroll.

Important to note is the Burgess Bill, originally submitted in September 2008 to the house as HR6908 was received, but no action was taken by the Senate.  Mr. Burgess reintroduced the bill (video HERE) with Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Michigan) as HR1253 (Health Insurance Source of Injury Clarification Act), but it’s identical to HR6908.

Health care transparency is good.  Punishing riders for enjoying their hobby with exceptions buried deep within an insurance plan only to be caught off guard is plain wrong!

UPDATE: April 10, 2009 – Received feedback from experts (thx Kitty!) in the field.  Although the post is accurate, making blanket statements is difficult since each state has different provisions and rules.  However, in the state of Oregon, Individuals (people who are interested in buying their own private policy) are provided with a carrier brochure/application by their broker or the insurance carrier which includes the covered services and exclusions.  With Group Insurance , the employer makes the decision on the plan purchased and is given a copy of the carrier proposal which would include the benefits and exclusions.  All insurance carriers must provide employees with a copy of the employee insurance handbook at time of enrollment.  The book includes covered services and exclusions.  Handbooks are mailed to home addresses by the insurance carrier to be sure employees receive this important information.

Photo courtesy of NBC/ER.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog.

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Are you ready?  You are not going to believe this.  You heard it first here on the Northwest Harley blog…Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (and Vice Presidential candidate) had a corn removed from her left foot.  Yes!  You heard correctly she was involved in a non-life threatening, non-surgical incident.  I can’t prove it with photo’s, but I’ve heard from the Rev Wright camp so, if you agree pass it along to 50 people.

So much “noise” being generated about Sarah Palin that the political landscape has become muddy murky with all types of reports being passed off as accurate.  I know we’re all stressed out about the damage of Hurricane Ike, but folks some of us are acting more stupid than others.

Palin SNL Spoof

Palin SNL Spoof

I saw a report about Palin being a motorcyclist.  Clearly a photo of her sitting on a Harley Street Glide would suggest her persona as an experienced rider extraordinaire…what about those safety patches and ABATE MSF training stickers?  Shall we then jump to a conclusion that she will seek to eliminate helmet laws, smog laws, and noise laws, just for us Harley riders?  Who knows. 

In April 2008 she did proclaim that May would be Motorcycle Awareness Month in this Alaska press release.  But the press even twisted that information!  ABATE is now Alaska Bikers Advocating Training and Education (ABATE)…and here I thought all this time it stood for A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments (ABATE).  This site in Indiana calls it American Bikers Aimed Toward Education so, it looks like certain regions are making adjustments to sound less subversive?  Here is the site in Oregon

Mary Peters Discusses Motorcycle Safety

Mary Peters Discusses Motorcycle Safety

It turns out that Photoshop is the application of choice for the “disinformation generators” and we’d be hard press to determine fact from invention.  Even the news outlets focus too much on the non-relevant “corn” stories vs. Palin having a life-long motorcycle philosophy or how having a motorcycle enthusiast in the White House would affect anything.  But wait!  Don’t we have a “motorcycle enthusiast” in the current administration…she’s called secretary of transportation, Mary Peters.  Yes, she is an actual Harley rider!  She’s made it her mission to get helmet laws enacted in all 50 states, but has cut training programs.  Not exactly the motorcycle rights advocate we might have been looking for, huh?   Ken Bingenheimer at the Passes and Canyons blog has done a great job writing about Peters.  Check it out if you want more information. 

My point is the political landscape has become so clouded with reports trying to be passed off as accurate in the main steam media that all I can say is good grief… readers beware

P.S. – Hey did you know that Palin was on SNL and now they are talking about how great of an actor she is…

P.S.S – Hey did you know it was being reported in the blogs over the weekend that when Palin was 5 years old, maybe it was 4½ she was seen playing in a mud puddle!  Now that’s not presidential and if you agree send this on to 22 more people, ASAP!

Palin photos courtesy of NBC and Xanga.

Peters photo courtesy of DOT.

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Amanda Beard

Amanda Beard

Something on the lighter side…I’ve kicked back and enjoyed the past few days of the Olympic Games because unlike many of you out there I dislike the Reality TV World and I find it interesting to see the physical and mental discipline of athletes who are at the top of their game for “5 minutes” of fame. 

Of course there is no lack of political baggage that comes with the Olympics from the Tibetan advocates to China’s human rights record.

But, speaking of the physical discipline there is no one drawing more attention inside or outside the Olympics for that matter than swimmer Amanda Beard.  She recently picked up a Ducati Monster motorcycle and told Sports Illustrated that she likes long motorcycle rides with brief stops at different swim clubs while doing clinics for kids.

Amanda might be a motorcycle riding compassionate U.S. Olympic athlete, but she’s received a lot of notoriety with an anti-fur ad she did-naked-for PETA.  She took time from her busy training schedule to bare her skin to help save animals’ skins – all in the interest to raise awareness of the cruelty inherent in the fur industry.

There are many people who don’t like it, don’t appreciate it, feel like she’s ruining the sport or giving female athletes a bad name and I’m sure there are just as many who love it, and feel like it brings more attention to swimming.  Say what you will about the anti-fur ad — Amanda is a top tier athlete with accomplishments to date being:

OLYMPIC MEDALS

Gold 1996 Atlanta 4x100m medley relay

Silver 1996 Atlanta 100 m breaststroke

Silver 1996 Atlanta 200 m breaststroke

 

Bronze 2000 Sydney 200 m breaststroke

Gold 2004 Athens 200 m breaststroke

Silver 2004 Athens 200 m individual medley

Silver 2004 Athens 4×100 m medley relay

 

Jewel Samad  AFP/Getty Images

Photo: Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

With China hosting the 2008 Olympic Summer Games, the ad may have come at just the right time. An investigation into the fur industry in China-states they supply more than half of the finished fur garments imported for sale in the U.S.  Of course the cruelty of the fur industry does not end at the borders of China.

 

So those of you who had enough spectator badminton, synchronized swimming, ping pong, and trampoline—all which should, of course, be performed in the nude you can send your “Olympic Moment” petition to his Excellency Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong and state you’d rather go naked with, I mean like Amanda than wear fur. 

What about leather riding gear?  I’m conflicted on this one.  There is a lot more info at the Cows R Cool web site which offers up synthetic “skin-free” alternatives.  

Check it out.

Updated: August 14th 17:10 PDTLA Times is reporting that the US Team Captain failed to advance out of the prelim’s.  She didn’t even make it out of the heats finishing 18th with 2 min and 27.70 sec.  Maybe she was too distracted in “pressing-the-flesh” for her cause?  Most unfortunate.

 

Photo courtesy PETA

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