Harley-Davidson, 110th Anniversary
Bike blessings are ingrained in the history and heritage of Harley-Davidson. And, when you need to get your bikes blessed in Rome, you may as well go straight to the top. So, that’s exactly what we did, as Pope Francis gave his blessing to 800 Harley-Davidson motorcycles in St. Peter’s Square.
To celebrate 110 years and allow fans to be immersed in the culture of the brand a Harley-Davidson tent city was built in Rome. Hosting over 100,000 riders from all over the world, the new city featured custom shops, merchandising, even the opportunity to buy a new bike. Over 100 journalists from around the globe were hosted at this once-in-a-lifetime event that culminated in Harley-Davidson and its throngs of visiting riders riding to St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City where the Pope blessed over 800 motorcycles and riders that had lined the Via della Conciliazione. This was supported with a presentation of motorcycles and a leather jacket to the pontiff. A press conference was attended by over 100 journalists from 25 different countries, and journalist engagement was managed throughout the 4-day celebration.
A story that had the world talking about Harley-Davidson. Photography captured at the bike blessing secured over 3,000 pieces of coverage from every corner of the globe, delivering nearly 3bn media impressions including 10 hours of broadcast media coverage. Over 120,000 riders from approx. 50 countries attended the event making it the largest European event in Harley-Davidson’s 110 year history.
It was safe to say that “for four days God rode a Harley through the streets of the Eternal City”*
* An actual quote released by The Vatican to the local media