Sturgis Rally Marketing Rights Dispute Over

March 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Rally News


Sturgis Chamber of Commerce – New Owner of Sturgis Bike Week

For nearly a decade, the relationship between the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce and the owners of Sturgis Bike Week, Inc., have remained strained in a dispute over who would own the motorcycle rally’s marketing rights. When you have an event that has that much notoriety among motorcyclists worldwide, attracting hundreds of thousands of bikers to the venue yearly, it’s likely that trademark and copyright ownership for that event would be worth big bucks. In the world of motorcycle rally games, this tug of war seemed like it would never end. Finally, on March 3rd, 2009, that ongoing dispute was finally resolved.

Happy Campers Only at Sturgis ’69

The  details of the transaction that put this Sturgis Rally issue to a much-needed rest has not been disclosed, but the news is that Sturgis Bike Week has been purchased by the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce and that both parties are happy with the resolution. Francie Ruebel-Alberts, one of the three Sturgis Bike Week, Inc., owners, stated that, "…we just kept coming back to our desire to keep it in the Sturgis community. Despite the fact that we have had our differences over the years, the Sturgis Chamber seemed the obvious choice and to maintain local ownership was very important to us." Gary Lippold and Bob Davis were the other two owners.

This wasn’t the first newsworthy dealing to take place in Sturgis this year. The Glencoe Campground and the Rock’n the Rally Amphitheater also changed ownership this year. Gary Lippold, again co-owner of those properties, participated in a little official paper inking a few months back that finalized that $8.6 million real estate transaction. These are just a couple of  Sturgis behind-the-scene details we thought might interest you. The 69th Anniversary Sturgis Rally countdown is still ticking down to its scheduled August 3-9, 2009, date with plans for a great motorcycle rally still in the making. Aerosmith and Toby Keith are just a couple of the top-named musicians you’ll find on the ’09 event calendar along with lots of other great motorcycle rally activities.  

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