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Rev Up Your Engines, Ethanol Promotion at Sturgis Was A Success

August 19, 2010


The engines have cooled throughout the Black Hills of South Dakota as the 70th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has come to a close. A week-long gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts taking part in this historical American tradition provided a perfect opportunity for the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) to promote the use of America's number one alternative fuel, ethanol. The RFA continued their partnership with the famed Legendary Buffalo Chip, the main gathering grounds of the rally that served as the epicenter of live entertainment and numerous ethanol themed promotional materials including "Fueled with Pride" banners and t-shirt giveaways. The Buffalo Chip staff were also "Fueled with Pride" as their t-shirts and vehicles featured the logo. With an anticipated 800,000 riders this year, up from less than 500,000 last year, the opportunity to chat with folks about the benefits of ethanol use was tremendous. Many of the riders were interested in stopping to chat with RFA staff about the domestic made fuel, taking with them the ethanol information being handed out along with keeping their drinks cold in their "Fueled With Pride" ethanol koozies. Promoting the use of ethanol fuel was certainly a main goal of RFA staff at the Buffalo Chip, however the celebrity coverage received was a great additive! Celebrity Pee-wee Herman was a main attraction at this year's Sturgis Rally while he was there filming spots for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Will Ferrell's "Funny or Die" website and a new Hollywood film. Ethanol supporters had the chance to meet Pee-wee,  as Kansas State Representative Bill Feurborn, a long time ethanol supporter, was interviewed for The Tonight Show wearing his 2010 RFA "Fueled With Pride" ethanol t-shirt!! Other supporters and RFA staff were involved with the filming of future spots with Pee-Wee for the "Funny or Die" website, ( wearing their ethanol attire. The RFA was also a large sponsor in the Third Annual Legends Ride, a 50-mile charity ride from Deadwood, SD back to Sturgis, benefiting two local Black Hills charities including the Black Hills Children's Home and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame. The 500 riders including world class bike-builders and celebrities like Lorenzo Lama and Survivor star, Rupert, all received free ethanol information, a koozie and 2010 Legends Ride t-shirt which featured the RFA. RFA staff did a great job of keeping our social media channels updated through Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr Followers and Fans were able to feel like they were a part of the crowd with updates on locations of contests and giveaways and where to find Pee-wee Herman! Pictures have been loaded up to Flickr account so check them out! Staff will soon have video for the RFA YouTube Channel as well.  RFA staff participated in interviews on 17 different radio stations, in addition to RFA's Director of Market Development, Robert White being featured on AgriTalk, reporting on the activities at the Buffalo Chip and provided an update on the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certification of both E85 dispensers and blender pumps. Another exciting year ensued at the Sturgis Rally with an incredible amount of generated interest in ethanol and using it as an alternative to our oil addiction. Looking forward to next year!