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Harley-Davidson has become a sponsor for one of the leading Formula-E teams. The well-known American motorcycle manufacturer has become a sponsor for the Envision Virgin Racing team.
Under normal circumstances, this wouldn't have made news, but now it is grabbing attention as its shows a small but significant shift in Harley-Davidson's priorities. Harley-Davidson is a manufacturer of cruiser motorcycles and isn't really a well-known brand in the world of motorsport outside America.
The only motorsport Harley-Davidson participates in, is the American Flat Track championship and it quite excels at it. Harley revealed the XG750R Flat Track motorcycle back in 2016 for this very purpose and the motorcycle has been doing very well in the championship.
In April 2018, Harley-Davidson gave us a taste of flat track racing with promises to promote the sport in India. However, there appears to be a shift in Harley-Davidson's focus and that is what makes their sponsorship of Envision Virgin Racing so important.
Harley-Davidson is shifting its focus towards electric motorcycles and so is every major motorcycle manufacturer. However, Harley-Davidson is the only mainstream premium brand that has already launched a production-ready electric motorcycle — the Harley Davidson LiveWire.
The motorcycle manufacturer going ahead and sponsoring a Formula E team shows us the direction the company is headed in. The nature of the sponsorship and other details are not known at the moment.
For all we know, it could just be a brand sponsorship in order to build the reputation of the company in the EV space. Envision Virgin Racing is currently one of the top teams in the 2019 Formula E Championship.
Marc McAllister, Vice President for product consumer portfolio management at Harley was quoted as saying, "Electric vehicles are at the cutting edge of future mobility conversations globally, and that future is happening now. We're incredibly excited to be partnering with Envision Virgin Racing, one of the leading proponents of Formula E - the highest form of e-propulsion motorsport."
"The team's passion, professionalism and commitment to the thrill of electric vehicles matches our own and it's going to be an incredibly exciting time working with them."
Thoughts On Harley-Davidson Sponsoring Formula E team
There is a clear shift towards electric vehicles and it is not just Harley-Davidson that is in this shift, but it is the entire automotive industry that is tilting towards EVs. However, Harley-Davidson going ahead and becoming a sponsor of a Formula E team that is already doing well in the championship is something to consider.