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Harley-Davidson ‘Freedom Jacket’ Journey’s Thousands of Miles in One Year

Mark-Hans Richer, Harley-Davidson’s Chief Marketing Officer, wears the Freedom Jacket in China.

Mark-Hans Richer, Harley-Davidson’s Chief Marketing Officer, wears the Freedom Jacket in China.

Rider Magazine Staff
January 16, 2013
Filed under Latest News

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As part of the year-long celebration of Harley-Davidson’s 110th Anniversary, the company has enlisted individuals from all over the world to take a single black leather jacket—the “Freedom Jacket”—on an adventure and to share their stories online. The Freedom Jacket will pass from rider to rider and visit dozens of iconic destinations in all corners of the globe, collecting their stories before coming home to Milwaukee for the final celebration, Aug. 29—Sept. 1, and for display at the Harley-Davidson Museum.

“The Freedom Jacket represents one of the most elemental, yet powerful truths of what it means to be a Harley-Davidson rider,” said Harley-Davidson’s Chief Marketing Officer Mark-Hans Richer. “A leather jacket is like a rider’s soul—every pin, scratch, scrape and patch is a visual marker of your journey and becomes part of your identity and the stories you tell.”

The Freedom Jacket was born last August when Richer wore a simple Harley leather jacket during an epic ride across the Tibetan Plateau in China to help kick-off the 110th Anniversary. At a stop along the ride, Richer asked a local Chinese man, who was working painting road markers, to paint something on the jacket to symbolize what he thought about Harley-Davidson. The man painted the Chinese character for “freedom.”

Harley-Davidson’s Chief Marketing Officer Mark-Hans Richer asked a local Chinese man to paint something on his jacket to symbolize what he thought about Harley-Davidson. The man painted the Chinese character for “freedom."

Harley-Davidson’s Chief Marketing Officer Mark-Hans Richer asked a local Chinese man to paint something on his jacket to symbolize what he thought about Harley-Davidson. The man painted the Chinese character for “freedom."

Since then, the Freedom Jacket has been worn by passionate enthusiasts who’ve traveled to destinations around the world, including the foothills of the Alps in Faaker See, Austria, for European Bike Week; the highways of Mexico; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and even the starting line of the NHRA Pro Stock finals in Pomona, California. In the coming months, the Freedom Jacket will journey to destinations both on and off the beaten path, including official Harley-Davidson 110thAnniversary events planned in India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Rome.

Fans can explore the inspiring videos, photos and stories of those who have worn the Freedom Jacket by visiting h-d.com/110jacket. Harley-Davidson is also inviting fans to share stories about their own journeys via the 110th Anniversary website. On January 22, the company will launch a unique online app that allows fans to create a personalized version of the 110th Anniversary “110 Years of Freedom” graphic with photos of their own epic adventures which will be featured on Harley-Davidson’s Facebook page and other online channels.

Harley-Davidson is planning to reveal several other exciting details related to the 110th Anniversary in the coming weeks.  Tickets for the 110th Anniversary celebration in Milwaukee are currently on sale at ticketmaster.com.

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