Hall of Fame Inductee – 2014
Missy Scott – in her book “Harley-Davidson Motor Company” says this: “In many ways, Clyde Fessler was the Arthur Davidson of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.” He started working for the motor company in 1977 as advertising and promotions manager. Over his 25 years with Harley-Davidson, he served as Director of Marketing, General Sales Manager, Vice President of General Merchandise, Vice President of Parts and Accessories, Vice President/Managing Director of Europe and finally Vice President of Business Development.
After graduating from Notre Dame, Clyde spent a few years working for recreational vehicle companies before an ad in a local paper for a position at Harley-Davidson attracted his attention.
Considered by many to be the marketing guru behind the dramatic turnaround of Harley-Davidson, Fessler held responsibility for creating a number of programs that brought the company forward. Through the years, Fessler led the creation of the Harley Owners Group, was responsible for the Harley-Davidson racing team and, as director of licensing, was responsible for a new business that adds considerable financial value to the company and has received national recognition.
Fessler greatly expanded rider accessories creating the MotorClothes department. Annual sales skyrocketed from $20 million to over $100 million annually in a period of only five years. Next, Fessler led the Mechanical Accessories Team to double the business in three years. Through Fessler’s leadership, the Harley-Davidson brand was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame.
Following his retirement in 2002, Clyde wrote his book “Rebuilding the Brand: How Harley-Davidson Became King of the Road.” He spends time as a branding consultant and a motivational keynote speaker.
In his free time, Fessler enjoys seeing the world on one of his three Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. Clyde has a son Derek, daughter-in-law Kathy and three wonderful grandchildren and is in the process of moving to Spearfish, to his new residence.