Elevating an Industry Icon


In the world of ATVs, the Polaris Sportsman® is one of the most legendary machines around. A staple Polaris product since the 1990’s, the Sportsman is known for being an extremely reliable, tough-as-nails ATV. Polaris challenged SixSpeed to elevate the Sportsman® imagery to give it a more aggressive look and to better connect with their core rider segments.

atvs in the wilderness overlooking a cliff
atvs in the wilderness overlooking a cliff

To kick the project off, we looked to the core riders to understand how and why they ride their ATVs. We wanted to learn how the riders talked, thought, and felt about their machines.

Armed with our real-world insights, we sat down with the Polaris team and tapped into their expertise, talking with brand managers and engineers. We wanted to better understand how Sportsman ATVs continue to excite and empower riders year after year, and how the features of these machines answer the demands of their consumer

Next came the fun part — ensuring we crafted a meaningful story for each rider community. Understanding the differences between how a rancher and a backcountry hunter use their Sportsman was critical. We created scenarios that honored the intentions of each type of rider and planned a shot list that we were sure would capture the integrity of each moment. To ensure authenticity, we cast real riders not ‘talent,’ working with experienced backcountry hunters, professional ATV racers, and ranchers who already knew their way around a Sportsman.

collage of hunters camping with their polaris atvs
collage of hunters camping with their polaris atvs

Over the next three days, we captured at a torrid pace — ending up with multiple selects and most importantly hundreds of pieces to support the digital and social campaign. Collaborating closely with the client on-site meant we were also able to capture additional unplanned but brilliant frames. The stunning terrain came to life during post-production and resulted in final imagery that was absolutely jaw-dropping and authentic.

campers walking towards their polaris atv
campers walking towards their polaris atv

Core insights paired with world-class execution lead us to next level imagery for the category leader. The client felt the shoot helped to elevate the Sportsman brand and push it forward. Polaris, with the help of SixSpeed, utilized the images in this seasons digital and print advertising campaigns to launch the new model year 2019 machines.


XC – Capture
Brand – Campaign, Art Direction, Design
Joe Lavoie/Art Director
Nick Spaeth/Art Director
Mike Menne/Executive Producer
Jack Plahn/Associate Producer
Tyra Guldseth/Project Manager
Megan Lokensgard/Project Manager
Meghan Burley/Account Manager
Thomas Cusciotta/Executive Creative Director

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