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Merchandising Goes a 'Long Way'

22 Nov, 2005 By: Jessica Wolf

Last year, box office star Ewan McGregor revved up his engine and rode a motorcycle around the world with fellow actor and motorcycle enthusiast Charley Boorman, filming the trip for a documentary miniseries “Long Way Round,” which aired on Bravo.

Now, Goldhil Home Entertainment is firing on all marketing cylinders for the title's Dec. 13 arrival on DVD.

The supplier is teaming up with BMW North America for cross promotions, including offering a free copy of the disc with a BMW bike test drive. Goldhil also is sponsoring a sweepstakes and promoting the title at the Long Beach Cycle World IMS Convention Dec. 9-11.

BMW bikers are just as passionate in the motorcycle world as Harley Davidson riders, said Bill Perrault, SVP of marketing for Goldhil. Naturally, Goldhil wanted to tap into these fans as a core audience for Long Way Round, he said.

With the market's crowded retail shelves this kind of special promotion was important, Perrault said.

“It's a title that needs these kinds of pushes so it doesn't get lost,” he said.

Goldhil is working with distributors to get “Long Way Round” merchandised in motorcycle shops, he said.

“The DVD will be sold in a lot of places you wouldn't normally find DVD,” he said.

“Long Way Round” will also begin a repeat airing on Fox's new Reality channel the week the DVD hits and will feature two on-air promotional spots starring Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. The spots direct viewers to go to www.foxreality.com to enter to win one of 500 DVDs, books and a grand prize leather motorcycle jacket signed by Ewan McGregor. Goldhil is also auctioning off a McGregor-autographed leather motorcycle jacket on Ebay, with all the proceeds going to UNICEF.

Simon & Schuster will release a soft-cover “Long Way Round” book, penned by McGregor and Boorman, and partner on promotions.

The seven-episode, two-disc DVD set contains the entire documentary as well as extras such as never-before-seen footage, a photo gallery and exclusive interviews with McGregor and Boorman.

Perrault describes the program as “a combination of extreme-sports and a reality show.”

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