The List: Win Ads (Volume 1)

The List: Win Ads (Volume 1)

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Not long ago, “win ads” were an important part of the American motorcycling industry. Because the races were hardly ever on TV and the internet only existed on Star Trek, the best way for companies to get the word out about their products was through magazines and weekly newspapers. The old adage "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday" was made for that era. Writing about a race win was a copywriter's favorite gig, and our own Eric Johnson—who came up with the idea of revisiting these ads from time to time—used to be a part of that for American Suzuki when he was at the ad agency Chiat/Day. But the times have changed. Races are shown live on TV and online, and people don't really have to wait until they get a magazine in the mail before they decide to make a purchase. The old-fashioned win ads do still pop up from time to time, but they just don't make them like they used to!

When Ronnie Lechien was winning nationals as a 16-year-old, Yamaha came up with this catchy ad ... probably wouldn't go over well today. 
When Ronnie Lechien was winning nationals as a 16-year-old, Yamaha came up with this catchy ad ... probably wouldn't go over well today. 
1990 Suzuki ad from England staring the late Donny Schmit (95) and Alex Puzar. That year's 125 and 250 World Champions.
1990 Suzuki ad from England staring the late Donny Schmit (95) and Alex Puzar. That year's 125 and 250 World Champions.
Torleif Hansen starred in this Hooker ad ... Again, probably wouldn't be able to get away with this today.
Torleif Hansen starred in this Hooker ad ... Again, probably wouldn't be able to get away with this today.
Kalevi Vehkonen did not win the 250cc World Championships in 1972, but Montesa was stoked to be the "top European brand".
Kalevi Vehkonen did not win the 250cc World Championships in 1972, but Montesa was stoked to be the "top European brand".
The U.S. Open in this case stood for the Open Class, not the golf championship. The character is using Yamaha's actual Monoshock as a golf club.    
The U.S. Open in this case stood for the Open Class, not the golf championship. The character is using Yamaha's actual Monoshock as a golf club.    
That's The Professor himself, Gary Bailey, after winning a national in Indiana on a Bultaco wearing Goodyear tires.  
That's The Professor himself, Gary Bailey, after winning a national in Indiana on a Bultaco wearing Goodyear tires.  
Maico was a German made motorcycle that dominated the 1972 Trans-AMA series ... but this ad is the 1970 500cc World Championships where they finished third and sixth. Maybe they already had the space reserved for a win ad!
Maico was a German made motorcycle that dominated the 1972 Trans-AMA series ... but this ad is the 1970 500cc World Championships where they finished third and sixth. Maybe they already had the space reserved for a win ad!
When Suzuki was dominating the 125 supercross class in the late 1980s with Keith Turpin (pictured above) and Willie Surratt, not to mention Bob Moore and Mike Healey, they were in Cycle News often. 
When Suzuki was dominating the 125 supercross class in the late 1980s with Keith Turpin (pictured above) and Willie Surratt, not to mention Bob Moore and Mike Healey, they were in Cycle News often. 
This is a pre-race win ad that Scott Wallenberg sent over from the late 1960s ...
This is a pre-race win ad that Scott Wallenberg sent over from the late 1960s ...
... and somehow this slipped into Scott's contributions, a Monark win ad from 1973 starring a young Midwest go-getter named Scott Wallenberg! 
... and somehow this slipped into Scott's contributions, a Monark win ad from 1973 starring a young Midwest go-getter named Scott Wallenberg! 
When Husqvarna was King in the early days of American motocross, you would see a lot of these ads, usually starring Swedish riders.  
When Husqvarna was King in the early days of American motocross, you would see a lot of these ads, usually starring Swedish riders.  
And then America got a little more serious about motocross and "top American" in the Trans-AMA series made you de facto national champion in 1970. A college student named Dick Burleson was that champion, only to detour into the woods the following year and become the best American enduro rider of all time. (His son, Jon-Erik, is now the president of KTM North America.)
And then America got a little more serious about motocross and "top American" in the Trans-AMA series made you de facto national champion in 1970. A college student named Dick Burleson was that champion, only to detour into the woods the following year and become the best American enduro rider of all time. (His son, Jon-Erik, is now the president of KTM North America.)
Gary Jones (pictured above) was declared the 1971 250cc national champion for being top American in the Inter-AMs on a Yamaha. The next year, he became the first true 250 National Champion again on a Yamaha, when a stand alone series of AMA races was held for the first time.   
Gary Jones (pictured above) was declared the 1971 250cc national champion for being top American in the Inter-AMs on a Yamaha. The next year, he became the first true 250 National Champion again on a Yamaha, when a stand alone series of AMA races was held for the first time.   
For further proof... 
For further proof... 
In Jeff Ward America found its first mini-cycle superstar and Honda took full advantage with this killer ad campaign showing the Flying Freckle grabbing a holeshot on his XR75. 
In Jeff Ward America found its first mini-cycle superstar and Honda took full advantage with this killer ad campaign showing the Flying Freckle grabbing a holeshot on his XR75. 
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