I called this back in 2009 with a post called Bottling Ideas.
I’m talking about the FX television series “Son’s of Anarchy (SOA)“, and a new deal with Harley-Davidson for custom motorcycles made by 20th Century Fox Consumer Products as part of a flurry of licensing deals for SOA that includes clothing, leather jackets, hats, t-shirts, games, calendars, stationary and much more.
Thanks to Bartels’ Harley-Davidson the bike maker will produce 100 limited edition Son’s of Anarchy motorcycles that will retail for about $25,000 each at Harley dealers this fall. Now TV viewers can further tap into the motorcycle club fantasy… who doesn’t want to pretend to be a ‘clubber’ and ride a faux outlaw biker motorcycle, right?
I can’t think of another TV show that cuts across multiple gender identities, social boundaries, is a taboo breaker, a mainstream manufactured product for the rebellious and the dispossessed. If ever there was a Harley-Davidson brand ambassador it would be Kurt Sutter’s (@sutterink), Son’s of Anarchy!
SOA is about to enter its fifth season, and is now the most-watched show in its history among total viewers 18-49. The most recent season the show averaged 5.5 million viewers per episode. It was also the number three DVD release among TV shows in 2011. And after growing online merchandise sales for FX’s top-rated show about 70 percent year-to-year since 2010, Fox is shifting to brick and mortar retailers like Spencer Gifts, Transworld/FYE and Hastings.
I wouldn’t be honest if I failed to mention that this feels like a disaster for any person who rides to a rally thinking they’ll have instant club admiration. However, it could be shrewd marketing of misbehavior and we’ll see a formal offering from the motor company every year! Any of the “noise” generated in the press and blogosphere helps in terms of show profile, helps H-D reinforce how the middle finger of rebellion built the brand. And isn’t that all that matters in the end?!
I don’t have a Kurt Sutter man-crush, but he does deserve a big shout-out for remaining true to the setting in the TV show without becoming stereotypical. We know it’s hard work compared to the Laffing Devils crap the Discovery Channel is trying to pass off as good TV.
Here are some previous SOA blog posts made over the years: OMG New Media Darlings; Men of Mayhem; Bikes, Bullets & Brawls; Mail Room of Life; Bottling Ideas; Be Good & You’re Lonely; Sutter Shout Out; Season 3 Ideas; Working The SOA Trail
Photo courtesy of SOA and RatRodStudios.com.