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Celebrity and Arctic Cat: A Love Story


(6/27/2018)

After posting the pic of Nancy Kerrigan decked-out in Arctic Cat leather last week, I started thinking about some of the famous people who have been associated with Arctic Cat over the years.

Some of these celebrities had a sponsorship-type relationship with the company, so their appearance on a machine or in promotional material was largely transactional.

Others were spur-of-the-moment situations in which a photo was taken (but there was no solid connection to the brand).

Regardless of the circumstance, these people and these moments added to the brand's image as well as their own.

It's not the complete list, but here are few classics:

 

Roger Moore, aka James Bond, rode an Arctic Cat Wet Bike in The Spy Who Loved Me.

Roger Moore, aka James Bond 007, rode an Arctic Cat Wet Bike in the movie, The Spy Who Loved Me.

 

Wild Kingdom host Marlin Perkins on an Arctic Cat Puma

Waaaaay back in the 1970s, the weekly television show Wild Kingdom was hugely popular with pretty much everyone I knew. Here host Marlin Perkins sits on an Arctic Cat Puma that was used in one of the episodes.

 

Model Cindy Crawford on an Arctic Cat ZR 700.

Someone mentioned the famous Cindy Crawford ZR 700 photo in the comments of the Nancy Kerrigan post. Here's that shot of Crawford on an Arctic Cat ZR 700.

The story I've heard about this shot is that Crawford's friend and neighbor was a huge Arctic Cat fan, and that he got her to pose in the jacket and on the sled.

 

The 1978 movie Ice Castles featuring then-heartthrob Robby Benson prominently featured Arctic Cat snowmobiles. It was a corny movie with some truly cringe-producing scenes, but it had snowmobiles so... it was the greatest movie ever made. Here are some sweet riding scenes from it.

 

Indy 500 winner Johnny Rutherford on an Arctic Cat Pantera.

Arctic Cat has a long history of partnerships with automobile racers. Three-time Indy 500 champ Johnny Rutherford was a world class performance nut, but apparently he (or some intern at Arctic Cat's PR agency) thought that the touring-focused Pantera was a good fit.

 

Tony Stewart Edition Arctic Cat Firecat

NASCAR/Outlaw racer Tony Stewart has had a longterm relationship with Arctic Cat, with the 2006 Tony Stewart-Edition F7 Firecat one of the cool results of that partnership.

 

Donny Schatz and the Arctic Cat sponsored car of Tony Stewart Racing.

Donny Schatz, who currently races for Tony Stewart's World of Outlaw's team, has put the Arctic Cat (and now Textron Off Road) name on top of the circuit for several years.

 

Mario Andretti and his Arctic Cat El Tigre.

Call me old fashioned, but I still say that Mario Andretti is one of the all-time greatest auto racers ever. His association with Arctic Cat was strong in the 1980s, and he was a true snowmobiler who used and tested the machines.

 

U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale on an Arctic Cat Pantera.

In 1978, then U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale had his own Arctic Cat Pantera, complete with Minnesota registration numbers and a hand-painted "Air Force 2 1/2" on the hood.

There are other examples of celebrity Arctic Cat partnerships. The question I've always wondered was, do these partnerships and associations actually sell snowmobiles?

Do you have an opinion on that?

Thanks for reading.



Comments (18):

Kevin Koehler says:
6/27/2018 7:32:00 PM

John, I am not totally sure but, if my memory is correct I think in one of my Cats Pride mags from 1994 or so, there was an article about that picture of Cindy Crawford on that sled. I thought the article said something that someone that worked at Arctic Cat at that time was a relative of Cindy Crawford. I know I still have that issue but its pretty deep in my filing cabinet. Iam kinda curious to find out John. Thanks.
I Bleed Green! says:
6/27/2018 8:46:00 PM

You forgot the best one! Grumpy old men.....
b&e outdoors says:
6/27/2018 10:01:00 PM

don't forget about The Night They Saved Christmas 1985 El Tigres,kitty cats up in Alaska
Kevin Koehler says:
6/27/2018 10:35:00 PM

Don’t forget Santa Claus on the 1973 Cheetah.??
Shane Gerwing says:
6/27/2018 11:15:00 PM

Any MN Vikings on Arctic Cats...
Randall McDaniel, Matt Birk?
Ken says:
6/28/2018 7:06:00 AM

I'm sure it doesn't hurt. The more Arctic Cat is put out there the more recognition it will receive and people will buy them. Call it marketing. That's why I'm still a little upset that Textron changed the Arctic Cat dirt products name. They needed to market that better in the south and putting celebrities on them would not have hurt.


I'm Arctic Cat all the way. I would buy anything with Arctic Cat on it. To match a celebrity with it makes it that much sweeter. I'm a huge Andretti fan and I think it's cool that Andretti's ride Cats but to see a women on a Cat now that is the Cats meow to me!
www.catmaster.se says:
6/28/2018 11:11:00 AM

You forgot Ingemar Stenmark with the Pantera electric number series
Auggie says:
6/28/2018 12:01:00 PM

When I was the General Service Manager at Arctic's Central Distribution Center in Plymouth MN the General Manager was Doug Hart who played football for the Green Bay Packers. There were many photos of Doug riding and racing Arctic Cats out there.
Pluedy says:
6/28/2018 12:10:00 PM

The 1978 Jag 2000 Charlie Cat and promo of a sweepstakes with Charlie perfume model Shelley Hack, who I recall was also a Charlie's Angel? Ken Kranz has a Charlie Cat he says it's his favorite collectible sled.
Dave in WNY says:
6/28/2018 12:46:00 PM

Heavyweight boxer Smokin' Joe Frazier was also a Cat rider.

And Mario Andretti is still riding sleds according to one of my PA snowmobile buddies who talked with him recently.
Mike F says:
6/28/2018 1:39:00 PM

Marlin Perkins kicked ass....just sayin.
Bobby Flame says:
6/28/2018 3:06:00 PM

My dad said he saw Brooke Shields at the state fair one time.
arcticbuster says:
6/29/2018 6:38:00 AM

At least Marlin was smart enough to stay on the sled, Jim on the other hand would be jumping off of it onto the back of a wild beast...
Mike says:
6/29/2018 8:53:00 AM

John,

Not sure if you can find the clip but they use M-Series in the first episode of "the Last Ship" on TNT. It was the only reason I watched the show, then I was hooked on it.
I Bleed Green! says:
6/29/2018 9:20:00 AM

The other day, i got to see some older M sleds on Last Man Standing.
Nighthawk says:
6/29/2018 11:40:00 AM

If I remember right Thomas Sno Sports bought the sleds used in the movie True Lies
Joe Rainville says:
7/2/2018 12:57:00 PM

Does celebrity endorsements or tie in help sell sleds? As an enginerd I would always say "product...product...product" but then again I just had to have a Roger Skime edition ZR6000. Love that sled, especially because it was a tribute to a legendary engineer...

So, I guess I have to say, "it depends on the celebrity!"

-JDJR
GBArchives 67-72 says:
7/2/2018 3:44:00 PM

Ahh some stuntmen got some serious air time on that '78 5000FA! I like that shot. To this day nothing to me beats the sound of a tuned up six port Suzuki 500FA screaming at 7500+ rpm. Always hated that schmaltzy Muzak from that movie that I sat through a dozen weddings of my generation for. LOL.

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