Hero Motorcycles of India has been making some aggressive moves in the motorcycle world of late: After splitting from former partner Honda, the Munjal family-run business acquired a 49 percent share of Buell Motorcycles managed to lure away BMW Motorrad's former head of R&D, Markus Braunsperger, and in another unexpected stroke, the manufacturer has new signed Thai/American Golf player Tiger Woods to a four-year contract as its brand spokesperson.
Hero Motorcycles currently sponsors events on four major golf tours – the only non-golf-related company to do so. As the title sponsor of Wood's charitable PGA event, now known as the Hero World Challenge, India's largest motorcycle manufacturer is hoping to expand its global reach by partnering with not only the PGA's most recognizable brand, but one the most recognizable in all of sports.
The golf superstar's involvement will most likely be limited to media appearances and commercials, as he doesn't have a motorcycle license, and it's doubtful that his agent or the people handling his insurance coverage would ever let that happen. Market researchers have estimated that 21.1 million motorcycles will be sold in India in 2016, with Hero Motorcycles expected to grab the major share. Production levels of such magnitude have allowed the company to seek out new and innovative partners and investments at a time when the majority of the motorcycle industry is still trying to recover from its last downturn.
Preparations to enter both European and American markets over the next two years are being bolstered by Hero's aggressive marketing initiatives and the hype being generating by them. Hero Motorcycles could well be a household name before we even get a chance to ride one of its motorcycles.