- Harley-Davidson is offering college students summer marketing internships that will send them across the country riding motorcycles while chronicling their experiences on social media, according to a job posting on the company's website.
- The #FindYourFreedom internship is a 12-week program that ends with a free motorcycle for students who have passed a riding and safety course. Throughout the summer, the interns will travel to events and meetings hosted by the brand to talk with other motorcycle fans and recruit more people to get into the sport of motorcycling, per the job posting.
- Interns will also serve as brand ambassadors and content creators by posting videos, photos and blogs to social media and managing Harley-Davidson's online community.
Harley-Davidson's internship program is certainly unique in sending its interns across the country and offering free motorcycles, but at the end of the day, the interns are essentially brand ambassadors who will work to raise awareness around the iconic motorcycle brand. The company is seeking college students to drum up brand excitement among younger consumers who often tune in to travel photos and videos shared on social media.
Though most millennials aren't embracing the motorcycle lifestyle, as U.S. sales of the vehicle peaked in 2006 and so far haven't bounced back from the 2008 recession, Harley-Davidson's new interns could help to ignite interest in the younger adult age group that consumes content through online channels and social media. Millennials may be the best hope for the motorcycle industry with their bigger population and longer expected lifetime value than Gen X, especially as Harley-Davidson is more of a luxury, aspirational brand that appeals to the ideas of freedom, adventure and the open road.
This internship program is part of Harley-Davidson's larger 10-year marketing strategy to train 2 million new U.S. riders, grow international business to 50% of sales and introduce 100 new "high-impact" motorcycles. That goal may difficult to reach as sales fell in Q1 2018, though the numbers beat estimates, per The Wall Street Journal. Harley shipped 38,797 motorcycles in the U.S. in the quarter, a drop of 15% from the prior year, while international shipments rose 0.4% to 25,147. The company has a solid reputation for making motorcycles, but its stock is at the same price as in the late 1990s. Perhaps wrangling in social influencers as interns will help do the trick and reignite interest in the brand and broader motorcycle industry.