BMW plans review to give motorbikes more lustre

Motorrad, BMW's motor­cycle arm, has put its UK PR account up for grabs, placing eight-year incumbent agency RBP on alert.

The six-figure contract will encompass sponsorship and product placement in TV shows such as Race to Dakar, which is to air on Sky this autumn. It also involves managing PR for BMW's off-road skills centre.

‘We have undergone a change in brand direction, following a redesign and the launch of several models,' said Motorrad UK marketing manager Mark Harrison. ‘We want to target a younger, more cutting-edge motor­cyclist.

BMW bikes have traditionally been seen as safe, comfortable bikes, and we want to move away from that stereotype.'

Motorrad's UK sales soared last year by 20 per cent, while global sales increased by £2m to £37.7m in the first half of 2006.

The tender is in line with BMW Group's policy of reviewing its agencies every three years, Harrison said. The winning agency will liaise closely with Harrison in the company's UK press office, but will report to Motorrad UK marketing manager Tony Jakeman.

Pitches will be held in the autumn, and biking specialist RBP said it would repitch. The review follows BMW's appointment of The Fish Can Sing to lure wealthy consumers to its cars (PRWeek, 7 July).

  • BMW Sports Marketing has hired automotive specialist Performance PR to maximise the marque's sports sponsorships, which include the America's Cup and Formula BMW. The deal lasts until the end of 2008.

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