Chrysler's Dodge division is chasing the fleet of foot with sponsorship of a national marathon series.
The brand will sponsor "Rock n' Roll" marathons and half marathons in several cities. The races, organized by The Competitor Group, mix running and music by lining routes with bands and cheerleaders and hosting post-race concerts. The company runs its races in 14 markets.
Dodge will get title sponsorship of the "Dodge Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon" on Labor Day weekend. The Chrysler division, which unveiled a new logo last week, will also be "Official Automotive Partner" and "Official Vehicle" of the Philadelphia, Denver and Los Angeles Rock n' Roll Marathons. Dodge will also be title sponsor, official vehicle and official automotive partner of 2011 Dodge Rock 'n' Roll Marathons in San Diego, Seattle, Virginia Beach, San Jose and Los Angeles.
Dodge, which says it is activating the sponsorship with advertising and social media campaigns and an interactive mobile experience aimed at runners, is also doing a promotion today, "National Running Day," with Competitor Group Inc.
The company says the Virginia Beach Half Marathon, in its 10th year, typically brings in 20,000 runners and walkers.
In what may be a first for a sponsorship of this kind, Dodge executives will be running in the Virginia Beach race, per Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of Dodge, who says he is training for the race.
The Rock n' Roll series began in 1998, and the Competitor Group says it gets 300,000 runners at its 14 events across the nation.
Dodge's efforts include a presence at a two-day Health & Fitness Expo, where the brand will have displays, and a digital presence at runrocknroll.com. The company is also promoting the association on Dodge's blog site at RdeLetterDodge.com, on Twitter (@dodge) and on Dodge's Facebook page.