Polaris To Donate ATVs To Boy Scouts

Polaris To Donate ATVs To Boy Scouts

Polaris will donate off-road vehicles through a partnership with the Boy Scouts of America, a move that may create future customers.

Polaris Industries Inc., the Medina-based off-road vehicle manufacturer, said Thursday that it is teaming up with the Boy Scouts of America for a 10-year, exclusive partnership. Polaris will donate ATVs, side-by-side vehicles, and safety equipment to select scouting camps nationwide.

Polaris and the Boy Scouts held pilot programs in 2012 and 2013 at the Northern Star Council’s Tomahawk Scout Reservation in Birchwood, Wisconsin, which is the second-largest scouting camp in the country. Polaris vehicles were also tested out at the Northern Lights Council’s Camp Wilderness near Park Rapids. According to Polaris, more than 900 scouts participated in those programs.

“Because our off-road vehicles are predominantly used and purchased by men and families that love the outdoors (i.e. hunting, fishing, camping), establishing a positive, fun Polaris brand experience with Boy Scouts is good business—it helps to create future customers,” Jan Rintamaki, Polaris’ director of customer experience, told Twin Cities Business. “In addition with the strident safety program in place with this partnership, teaching youth how to enjoy our products safely and in an environmentally responsible manner also ensures the long-term sustainability of the sport.”

As part of the donation, Polaris will maintain and replace vehicles and equipment as needed. Fifty-three vehicles will be donated this year to Boy Scouts' High Adventure Camps in Minnesota, New Mexico, West Virginia, and the Florida Keys, Rintamaki said. From 2015 through 2023, Polaris plans to donate 150 vehicles annually to local camps. So far, the models involved in the deal include the Phoenix 200, Sportsman 5 EPS, and the RZR 170 youth side-by-side.

Off-road vehicle training programs have become increasingly popular in Boy Scout camps. Nearly 60 local councils nationwide will be offering courses this year, according to the organization.

Polaris, which reported sales of $8.3 billion in 2013, designs, manufactures and markets powersports vehicles from ATVs and snowmobiles to the recently revived Indian motorcycle brand. Twin Cities Business profiled Polaris last May, looking at the company’s status as the powersports industry leader and its growth in the global market.