SMRi, owner of the Sturgis Rally federal trademarks, donated $50,000 to Sturgis Rally Charities Foundation with the proceeds then to be donated to local organizations. The donation is in conjunction with SMRi’s overall goal to give back to the Black Hills, a community that gave birth to and has supported the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally for decades. According to a news release from SMRi, the money is from funds generated from licensing of the trademarks. A group of Sturgis residents and business owners upset with Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc.’s efforts to control merchandising during the annual event are currently taking their objections to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
“We feel that the Sturgis Rally Charities foundation is a great way to keep money generated by the Sturgis trademarks in the Black Hills, which is the foundation of the overall mission of SMRi. The volunteer board of SMRi has put in countless hours over the year, and being able to give back to the community makes it all worth it. The 2011 Sturgis Rally was a banner year with strong participation in and support for the licensing program and the growth of SMRi’s brands. We thank the hundreds of retailers that carry Officially Licensed Product and look forward to being able to continue to give back to a place that we call home,” said Dean Kinney, Chairman of SMRi.