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Discussion Starter #1
I somehow ended up thinking about Disney World last night, particularly how GM/Chevrolet has that big sponsorship deal with the Test Track ride at EPCOT. Not that it's that great of a deal for GM, considering how often that thing broke down, but still... if you're a 7 year old kid, already excited about going to Disney World in the first place, and you go on a ride plastered with gold bowties and then a nice show-off of Corvettes and Camaros before the gift shop, what are you going to think is cool? Brand loyalty is established at an early age. FoMoCo already has the not-altogether-that-subtle benefit of the history books in most schools at least making mention of the Model T and assembly line, as well as the largest museum in the country with Henry's name attatched to it. It's not really a corporate sponsorship, but it is hard to ignore the link between the famous Ford Model T and the (albeit vastly changed) Ford of today. So what does Chrysler have now that the WPC museum is gone and the only real connection to the Chrysler Building (which was only the tallest building in the world for a very short period anyways, and is overshadowed by the much-uglier Empire State) is the name? Opinion seems to be that Chryslers are junk (thanks to our Teutonic friends) or sub-par beater economy cars from the '90s (an altogether undeserved reputation, IMO). Sergio seems to be doing a lot in very big ways to reverse this, but at the same time, that brings the poor reputation (again, something that has changed) of FIAT from the '70s and early '80s and the fact that Ma Mopar is owned by the Italians (even though it seems to be much more equal in terms of advancement and technology sharing than the "merger of equals" ever was). Why doesn't Chrysler have a big sponsorship deal for its core brands, Dodge, Chrysler and Ram (I left out Jeep, since people still give me a lot of weird looks when I mention they're built by Chrysler. Jeep is Jeep. It has its own identity, regardless of who owns it, AMC, Chrysler or otherwise)? It seems like a high-profile tie-in with an amusement park, especially considering the slow sales of the Dart as a sporty car, could be very beneficial...
 

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There are sponsorship deals all over the place for the various brands. They may not be as "big" as you'd like, but they are out there.

The WPC museum isn't completely dead yet. They will be open for special events through the end of 2013. There are rumblings that something might happen along with Dodge's 100-year anniversary in 2014.

The Chrysler Building in NYC hasn't had ties to Chrysler past the name for a very long time. The company never owned the building - Walter P. Chrysler and his family did and they sold it back in 1953.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Right, I know there ARE sponsorships, but why not high-viz ones like that?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's true, but I would argue that a high-visibilty deal would also probably bring higher sales and interest, offsetting the higher cost. Case in point- the 200 launch ad. Taking up 2 minutes of Super Bowl commercial airtime is high-vis. Given, they didn't spend that much on that ad, but it was a pretty good move. The Clint Eastwood ad was also a good one, but the Jeep one this year was a bit of beating a dead horse. The long, sentimental sort of ad is sort of a been-there-done-that now, but I think Ma should be looking for something in that vein, since the ad paid off for them in a big way at least in terms of public interest. Chrysler is in a bit of a strange situation, in which most of their brand loyalty seems to be from the older crowd who remember pre-1999 Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth. People my age (18-21) seem to go more for imports, despite a very strong resurgance in domestics (which, by the way, I'm surprised Chrysler hasn't touched yet: they seem to do more work in terms of development and design here in the U.S. than any of the Big Three. The Focus was originally a Ford Europe design, the Fiesta is a foreign design, and the Transit is built in Turkey and shipped here as a "passenger vehicle" which then has its seats stripped out. Chevrolet has three cars, the Spark, the Sonic and the Captiva, which were all originally Daewoos. Chrysler, on the other hand, uses the Giulietta platform in the Dart, for example, but invested $1B in modifications). It seems something like GM has with Test Track could potentially have a big effect in helping to make Mopar more competitive in this segment.
 
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