Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Lessons for Internet Marketers

Bikers everywhere, rejoice — it’s August again, and the little town of Sturgis, SD has opened the floodgates to the annual infusion of cash.

Whether you have an opinion about Harley Davidsons, face masks, or South Dakota, the story of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally gets me excited every year. And even this year, there are estimated to be 250k in attendance in this little town in the middle of nowhere.

The rally has gone on nearly every year since 1938, and started so competing bike clubs could fight (so the story goes). They missed some during World War II. I think during that time the club members went somewhere else to fight.

But they’re not skipping out for the pandemic. Nope. In fact the SD governor has welcomed the visitors and the event.

The gathering has been a cash cow for South Dakota every year. After all, what else besides Mount Rushmore and the Badlands is even in South Dakota? On top of that, most Americans couldn’t even find South Dakota on a map, I’m embarrassed to say.

But Sturgis found a way to get on the map. Every year hundreds of thousands of Harley riders go to this little town, drop $800 million (peak revenue in 2015, the year they had 700k+ in attendance), camp, and take part in the rally events and races.

I’m willing to bet that it’s the highest income producing town in the entire state per capita. I’m not taking a minute to look that up. They make that income in about a 10-day period, in a town with a population of about 6,700 souls.

Seems to me that Sturgis, South Dakota set the model for the internet. See how that works?

Have a tiny town (like a website) with just a few people in it (there are two humans and a cat who live in my house). Attract something like a half-million people there (give or take) in a short period of time, and invite them to empty their wallets and jack up their credit cards at an event they can’t help but want to go to. That’s your irresistible offer right there.

Sounds like a successful online business to me.

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And remember: loud pipes save lives.
Ride safe.

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