Celebrating a legend.
Back in the late 1890s, Marshall “Major” Taylor made history as the first African-American to win a world sprint championship. Driven by the mantra “Never stop. Never settle.” he broke several world records and quickly became an international sports star. In April 2018, renowned cognac brand Hennessy launched “Major”, the latest chapter in the “Wild Rabbit” campaign which celebrates the legacy of the legendary cyclist. Now, the brand has partnered with the National Brotherhood of Cyclists (NBC) to honor the iconic sportsman. The Hennessy Marshall Taylor campaign includes a series of tribute rides, a scholarship and limited-edition items. The synchronized tribute rides will take place on December 1, 2018 in cities like Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.
Hennessy and the NBC will also award a $25,000 scholarship. “Many of the barriers Taylor faced at the height of his career are still relevant over 100 years later, including access to education – something of great importance to him personally, given his own journey and influence at the turn of the century,” says Bruce Woods, President, National Brotherhood of Cyclists. “We’re honored to have the support from a partner like Hennessy as we strive to promote higher-education among future leaders and increase diversity in cycling and other sports,” he adds.
As part of the Hennessy Marshall Taylor campaign, Hennessy has partnered with other companies to launch a range of limited-edition items. Created by Affinity Cycles, the Major track bike recreates the sports legend’s iconic black bike, but with a modern twist. A premium fixed gear track bike, Major features the Affinity Cycles Metropolitan frame set, a hand laced wheel set paired with Phil Wood hubs and classic gum wall Panaracer tires. Other features include a Thomson stem, seat post and clamp, as well as a CNC machined Affinity crank set. Finally, the vintage leather details on the handlebar, saddle and toe straps add the perfect finishing touch to this special bike.
Joining the Major bike, an apparel range from Pyer Moss will feature cycling-inspired items. These include a cycling cap a custom tee, and nylon bomber jacket, among others. All of the limited-edition designs will be launched in time for the holiday season, with a part of the proceeds donated to NBC. Photographs© Hennessy.