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Volume 24 No. 217
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Mercedes-Benz Using Falcons Stadium Sponsorship To Make Brand More Approachable

Mercedes-Benz in buying naming rights to the new home of the Falcons is "trying to prove that it's not just a country-club brand," as the deal puts Mercedes in front of "millions of football, soccer and music fans, including many younger consumers who may not realize the breadth of the brand's expanding lineup," according to Amy Wilson of AUTO NEWS. Mercedes-Benz USA VP/Marketing Drew Slaven said, "It's going to make us a lot more approachable and prove out that we are not elitist. There are products within our portfolio that are very aspirational, but we also have products today, and more coming, that are very, very competitive with mainstream products." Wilson noted Mercedes-Benz also "holds the naming rights to the Superdome in New Orleans, a 10-year deal that continues" through '21. But the brand "aims to put its stamp on the Atlanta stadium in a way it hasn't in New Orleans." Slaven said of the customer experience at M-B Stadium, "It was so important that in the stadium the fans not be treated like cattle being moved around, but like guests in a house." Wilson noted Mercedes is "sponsoring a large cellphone charging station that will provide free rapid charging services for fans." Mercedes has also "partnered with its six area dealerships to offer other amenities to Mercedes customers." But Mercedes execs were "wary of turning the building into an overbearing Mercedes billboard." Slaven: "We don't want commercials running. We'll run some videos of cars, but they'll be broken apart and pulled together as if they're huddling across the 360-degree screen." Mercedes has been working with AMB Group CEO Steve Cannon, who was previously the brand's U.S. President & CEO, while "fine-tuning" its presence at the stadium (AUTONEWS.com, 9/17).