Olympics: BMW Drives for Team USA - Event Marketer

Olympics: BMW Drives for Team USA

It isn’t easy to stand out in the competitive luxury automobile market, even if you are the ultimate driving machine. It’s even more challenging to keep current owners of your luxury vehicle excited about what they already drive when there are so many other options out there.

Last summer, BMW connected with existing owners of its vehicles with test-drives of not only its cars, but the competitors’, too. It tied its summer test drives to its all-new 6 Series as well as its partnership with the U.S. Olympic Committee to create an integrated marketing campaign that included print and web invites and a promotional kit that enabled local BMW centers to invite their customers to their driving events. Invitations included an incentive for the customer to participate: for each driver that attended the events BMW donated $10 to Team USA in that person’s name.

For more information about the event, BMW provided a QR Code on the invitation that, when scanned with a smartphone, activated a video featuring three Olympic athletes inviting consumers to attend the driving event and urging each invitee to donate to Team USA before they head into the 2012 London Games this summer. Customers registered online and received their confirmation via email.

On event day, they were welcomed at their local BMW Centers with a branded Olympic experience. Staff members were on hand to register customers and provide them with wristbands. Customers could then choose a car to drive from a full line of BMWs, as well as its competitors’ models.

When the drive was over, a former, current or hopeful USA Olympian was present to speak with guests and talk about how important the partnership is between BMW and the U.S.O.C. Olympians like Shannon Miller, Olympic Gold medalist in gymnastics, posed with the customers for a photo and signed their commemorative BMW hat. Customers were then asked to fill out a post-drive survey and were directed to a client advisor who offered them $1,000 off the purchase of a vehicle.

BMW followed up with a thank you email the next day. A few weeks after the event, customers received a personal phone call from an Olympian thanking them for their same-day purchase and their donation to Team USA.

Through this campaign, BMW engaged more than 20,000 consumers, which resulted in a 22 percent conversion rate of new BMW purchases within six months among event participants. In addition to an increase in brand awareness and sales, the events also brought to life BMW and Team USA’s Olympics partnership at dealers during a non-Olympic year. Winning! Agency: Octagon, Norwalk, CT.

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