Harley Owners Group

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Harley Owners Group
Harley Owners Group logo.png
Abbreviation HOG
Formation 1983
Type Company-sponsored club
Affiliations Harley-Davidson
Website www.hog.com

The Harley Owners Group (HOG) is a sponsored community marketing club, operated by Harley-Davidson for enthusiasts of that brand's motorcycles. The HOG is "the grandaddy of all community-building efforts," serving to promote not just a consumer product, but a lifestyle. The HOG has also served to open new revenue streams for the company, with the production of tie-in merchandise offered to club members, numbering over one million strong,[1] making it the largest factory-sponsored riding club in the world.[2] The Harley-Davidson community was the prototype for the ethnographic term subculture of consumption, defined as "a distinctive subgroup of society that self-selects on the basis of a shared commitment to a particular product class, brand, or consumption activity."[3]

The Harley Owners Group was created in 1983 as a way to build longer-lasting and stronger relationships with Harley-Davidson's customers, by making ties between the company, its employees, and consumers.[4] HOG members typically spend 30% more than other Harley owners, on such items as clothing and Harley-Davidson-sponsored events.[5] Much of the intent of this branding effort is presenting Harley-Davidson as an American icon, with the focus on authenticity and pride in being American-made. All of this is credited with turning flagging sales around, and allowing the Harley-Davidson company to grow again.[6]


HOG San Jose Chapter colors on a jacket.

Each Harley-Davidson dealership has the opportunity to sponsor a local HOG Chapter. Some do not, but no chapters exist without a link to a sponsoring dealership. Chapters are supported by the national HOG group, a subsidiary of Harley-Davidson, in Milwaukee, WI. Chapters elect officers from within their membership, produce a newsletter, and organize events throughout the year. Most events are ride-related. HOG Chapters are volunteer organizations that collect dues from members to subsidize the costs of events and the administrative costs of running the chapter.


On the chapter level, most HOG events are member-only rides. Most states have an annual rally that is open to all HOG members, regardless of chapter affiliation. Nationally, each year several events, rallies, and rolling rallies are presented by HOG for all members.

Charitable work[edit]

Nationally, HOG's official charity is the Muscular Dystrophy Association. HOG chapters are encouraged to support the MDA and/or other charities, though supporting a charity is not a requirement of a HOG chapter.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Denove, Chris; Power, IV, James D. (2007), Satisfaction: How Every Great Company Listens to the Voice of the Customer, Portfolio, p. 195, ISBN 9781591841647 
  2. ^ "Harley-Davidson to get new ticker: HOG", The Business Journal of Milwaukee, 10 August 2006 
  3. ^ Schouten, John W.; McAlexander, James H. (June 1995), "Subcultures of consumption — an ethnography of the new bikers", Journal of Consumer Research (The University of Chicago Press) 22 (1): 43–61, doi:10.1086/209434, ISSN 0093-5301, JSTOR 2489699 
  4. ^ Popcorn, Faith; Marigold, Lys (2000), EVEolution: the eight truths of marketing to women, Hyperion, pp. 24–25, ISBN 9780786865239 
  5. ^ Clifton, Rita; Simmons, John; Ahmad, Sameena (2004), Brands and branding; The economist series (2nd ed.), Bloomberg Press, ISBN 9781576601471 
  6. ^ Wilson, Jerry S.; Blumenthal, Ira (2008), Managing Brand You: Seven Steps to Creating Your Most Successful Self, AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn, ISBN 9780814410684 

External links[edit]