Tobacco Motorwear Sees Success Exhibiting in Shift At IMS

Tobacco Motorwear Sees Success Exhibiting in Shift At IMS

We caught up with Tobacco Motorwear after the 2018/19 tour to find out what they thought about their experience exhibiting in SHIFT at IMS.  


Tobacco Motorwear is a Los Angeles based motorcycle apparel manufacturer dedicated to providing riders with classic and functional riding gear while remaining fashionable on and off the bike. A relatively new brand to the motorcycle landscape (established in 2014) Tobacco has grown over the past 5 years by being nimble with digital and event marketing initiatives .

In an effort to expand their reach to new markets, they chose to exhibit in the Shift at IMS space in 6 shows across the 2018-19 Tour.   


While digital content marketing is a cost effective tool to generate buzz and sales for Tobacco, the brand realized that it needs a way to find new customers outside of its current sphere of followers.

“We do well marketing our products through digital channels and creating high-quality content, but to reach new customers we have to go beyond that, there is only so much that can be achieved online.  Eventually you have to hit the ground and talk to people face-to-face,” said Tobacco co-founder Andrew Hancock.

Physically introducing the brand to new markets would be costly and time-intensive for a small-size business though, so Tobacco needed a turn-key solution that would maintain the brand’s authenticity.

In-person interaction allows us to obtain genuine product feedback from customers, build business relationships, and create qualified customer leads. While these in-person interactions produce great results, it can be costly and time-intensive  so we have to discern with who and where we activate,” added Hancock.  


SHIFT at IMS is a curated lifestyle space for brands, like Tobacco, to sell, interact, and engage with attendees and new customers. The space is  turn-key, taking setup, break down, and fixtures out of the exhibitors’ hands and is perfect for startups or established brands that wish to set themselves apart.  Being a part of the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows also allows lifestyle brands to meet a diverse crowd of motorcyclists in various cities across the US with large riding communities.   

“What we liked most about SHIFT at IMS was the environment complimented our brand aesthetic and attracted our target customers,” said co-founder David Ackerman.

“For each city we exhibited in, we packed up two big suitcases and brought as much of our product into the convention center to set up on the provided garment racks and tables. Typically when we do events we have to set up and manage a tent, table, garment racks, dressing rooms, product,  etc, and that limits us geographically. SHIFT at IMS took care of all those logistics and setup so we could focus our energy on potential customers all day long.”

After Tobacco’s first IMS Tour, they found positive return on their investment and opportunities for the brand that are extending beyond customers and sales.

“In addition to selling our product and making back our initial investment, we saw an overall positive ROI, “ said Ackerman. “We were able to interact with thousands of people who tried on and talked to us about our product. There is no denying  the value in how being in SHIFT at IMS can help solidify and boost brand awareness in new and local markets."

"Additionally, we met local dealers, developed relationships, and have a huge collaboration in the works. When we looked at it afterwards, we got a lot more out of what we put in and at the end of the day, for a small business, that’s huge.”


Walkthrough of Tobacco Motorwear Riding Jeans and McCoy Jacket

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