2014 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally a Success for SMRi
With the 74th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in the books, SMRi (Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Inc.) is confident in the impact it had on the Sturgis community as a whole, with more officially licensed merchandise than ever before for sale.
As stewards of the Sturgis brands the volunteer board of SMRi feels a strong responsibility to help promote, grow and strengthen the Sturgis brands.
The 74th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally gave the board an opportunity to unveil the official Sturgis branded logo for the 75th alongside Mayor Mark Carstensen as well as defend the trademarks that keep giving back to the local community. It was well received by hundreds of riders and citizens.
“For the 75th we knew we needed iconic branding and logo. We wanted rally goers and citizens to be able to see how much thought we are putting into next year. It will be a great rally, ” said Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen.
The unveiling of the logo marked the beginning of preparation for the most anticipated motorcycle rally of all time, the 75th anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
With legendary roots in the Black Hills the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is the worlds largest and the 75th is sure have attendance that breaks all previous records. The logo for such a legendary event as a 75th anniversary needed to be iconic, memorable and pull in elements of the original Sturgis logo.
The 75th logo exemplifies all of that and will be emblazoned on official 75th anniversary merchandise and is available only through officially licensed merchandise retailers.
The 74th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally gave SMRi the opportunity to defend the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally trademarks by filing a federal trademark infringement lawsuit against Kent Mortimer and Renegade Classics and the owners of a Buford, Georgia Renegade Classics retail store to protect the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally trademarks. SMRi and its volunteer board are the non-profit stewards of the trademarks pertaining to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
The complaint filed in federal court details Mortimer’s and Renegade Classics’ infringing use of the term “Sturgis Rally Week” on apparel products, which infringes on SMRi’s rights in the Sturgis Bike Week, Sturgis Motorcycle Rally™ and Sturgis trademarks. By using
“Sturgis Rally Week” without the license or permission of SMRi or its licensees, Mortimer, Renegade Classics and the Buford, Georgia storeowners confuse customers about the source of the products and deprive the City and the citizens of Sturgis of royalties due from officially licensed merchandise.
“SMRi was established to spur economic development in the Black Hills region and to bring money back to the community through charitable contributions derived from sales of official licensed merchandise. When Renegade Classics and its agents use the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally trademarks without having a license, less money will go back to the community and we can’t stand for that,” said SMRi Board Member and City of Sturgis Councilman David Hersrud.
SMRi will continue its fight against entities that infringe on the Sturgis trademarks to help protect and preserve the Sturgis brands so the community can continue to thrive and enjoy a tangible return from the world’s largest motorcycling event.
The organization also continues to press its lawsuit in federal court in South Dakota against Rushmore Photo and Gift and its proprietors, and against Wal-Mart Stores, for their unlawful and unlicensed use of the terms “Officially Licensed Sturgis” and “Sturgis Motor Classic” on souvenirs they sell.