Kona Mountain Bikes Aligns with Ford Motor Company for Kona Edition Focus
7 January 2000Kona Mountain Bikes Aligns with Ford Motor Company for Kona Edition Focus
Alliance is Part of Echo Boom Generation Marketing Campaign LOS ANGELES, Jan. 6 -- When the granddaddy of the automotive world wanted to team up with a funky bike company to help design an out-of- bounds vehicle to appeal to the Echo Boom generation, whom do you think they turned to? Kona Mountain Bikes has teamed up with Ford Motor Company to create the Ford Focus Kona edition vehicle. The Kona edition is one of the feature vehicles that Ford is developing to help launch the Focus in the United States over the next 18 to 24 months. The vehicle is more than just another bike add-on. Ford asked Kona to help design the car so that every customization that an out-of-bounds rider would want is already part of the car including, of course, an out-of-bounds bike. The Kona Blast is a specially designed hardtail free-ride bike that will feature a long-travel fork, dual disc brakes, platform pedals and other components designated for out-of-bounds riding. Other custom features incorporated into the vehicle will make the Focus a cohesive package for the out-of-bounds riders. "This is a genuine cross-marketing campaign," Kona's Chairman of the Board, Jacob Heibron, said. "Kona gets to develop a genuine Kona out-of- bounds bike, a bike that is a natural extension of the Kona brand, and we get to introduce out-of-bounds style riding to the general consumer." The Focus is not your typical small car. It is a sporty car with new levels of roominess, comfort, driving dynamics and safety. It was introduced in Europe last year and was named the 1999 European Car of the Year. Kona helped select the color palette and graphics treatment of the car. The result is uniquely Kona. The Focus Kona edition will be available in May. Kona dealers will play an integral part in the program. To ensure the Blast is built and fitted correctly, customers who purchase the Focus Special Edition will go to the local Kona dealer for delivery of the bike. There will also be several promotional opportunities for Ford and Kona dealers to gain exposure to consumers they may not ordinarily interact with. The alliance will include several co-marketing programs, including a special section on Ford's focus-247.com Web site with a hot link to Kona's site and cross-promotional opportunities with the other feature car partners. So, why Kona? Ford conducted extensive market research, hiring a marketing consulting firm that specializes in the Echo Boom generation. Their research among the target market yielded one true ally for such a unique project: Kona. "We did our homework on this," said Julie Roehm, Ford Focus brand manager. "And we discovered that what Kona has and hasn't been doing for the last few years really resonated with the target market. Kona gets it."