SBD/Closing Bell

Chrysler's Derby Efforts Help Its Ram Trucks Rebound In Kentucky

Speaking at the '13 Intersport Activation Summit today, Ram Advertising Head Marissa Hunter said Chrysler had a problem four years ago with its Ram Truck brand in the Kentucky market. Its market share lagged far behind Ford, and Chrysler's trucks struggled to get consideration from horse trainers, jockeys and others who use trucks every day. It took a big step to correct that problem in '10 by signing a deal with Churchill Downs and activating against the Kentucky Derby. In the negotiation, Chrysler secured space for its brand on jockey pants and branding in the winner’s circle at the Derby and stables at Churchill Downs.

The brand launched a new campaign around the '10 Derby using the tagline, “Guts. Glory. Ram.” In subsequent years, it added a “Horsemen’s Lounge” staffed by Ram Truck ambassadors who served owners, trainers and jockeys. This year, it added a Ram Longhorn truck on the red carpet and loaded it with red roses, which made it a popular photo opportunity for spectators.

Hunter said that local dealer leads "grew more than 350% as a result of the Churchill Downs sponsorship." She said, “This for us is a huge win. Louisville has long been Ford country. We basically had no presence there. From a marketshare standpoint ... that place has been owned by Ford for years and years and years. So we’re very excited that what we’re doing there at Churchill Downs seems to be paying off.”

See upcoming issues of THE DAILY for more, and check out our On The Ground blog for updates.
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