Kawasaki | Star Power Outreach
As the world of motorcycles continues to become increasingly popular, Kawasaki consistently continues to raise the bar. Not only are their bikes on point they also successfully tapped into the smaller cc market with their very sporty and spirited (not to mention best selling) Ninja 250R.
In addition to production achievements, Kawasaki remains at the forefront of reaching out to the various segments of the market including the African-American market. For example, their roster includes AMA drag race phenomenon Rickey Gadson who has 116 professional wins and eight World Drag Racing Championships proudly listed on his resume. Then there’s James “Bubba” Stewart, a Champion Motocross racer who has set records for the most Supercross Lites wins, most consecutive Motocross Lites wins and was the 2002 AMA Rookie of the Year. Rounding out Kawasaki’s list of heavy weights is none other than Jason Britton, sport bike stunter and host of SPEED’s Superbikes. Not a bad team, huh?
So, how can Kawasaki improve on this winning formula? Easy. In addition to bringing out Rickey, Jason and stunt rider Kane Friesen for a weekend of riding and racing during the Kawasaki AMA Superbike Showdown at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma Valley, CA they also brought in a few special guests such as model Tyson Beckford, actor Kadeem Hardison and five-time world champion boxer Roy Jones. As significant as this level of star-power was, Kawasaki did something even better. They reached out directly to the bike community by inviting Shelia “Breeze” Green-Barnhill President of New Directions MC out of New Jersey, Eric “Bigg Dogg” Adkison President of Front Runnerz MC out of the Atlanta, GA and James “Bigg Wizz” Jefferson President of Shaolin Ryders Staten Island, NY. “This method of outreach is particularly significant” says Jan Plessner, Kawasaki Public Relations Manager. “Our upper management recognizes the importance of reaching out to our customer base and the unique and successful methods to do so… they get it.”
The weekend included riding through the scenic valley of Sonoma, track time at Infineon Raceway on everything from Kawasaki’s little mighty-mite, the Ninja 250 to their blazing ZX-14. Also included on the schedule was a little fun with some mini motocross’n where Rickey proved to be victorious with some antics some might call questionable, but it was all in the name of fun and all good. However, now that I know what to expect, the checkered flag is all mind next time!
With the celebrities, athletes, fellow riders along with a cadre of Kawi’s latest and greatest bikes, the weekend was nothing less than spectacular one. Good job Kawasaki.
Written by: Leon L. Brittain
Motorcycle Journalist and photographer