Mazda North American Operations has signed a three-year partnership with the Austin, TX festival and conference behemoth SXSW. The deal makes Mazda official automobile sponsor through 2017 starting next March, when the festival happens between the 13th and 22nd.
"After spending time at last year's SXSW in Austin, we knew it was the right fit for the Mazda brand and were eager to expand upon our presence moving forward," said Russell Wager, VP marketing for the automaker’s U.S. operation. "Music, Film and technology are passion points for Mazda customers and our official partnership with the festival will allow us to connect with them on a deeper level, in one of the most forward-thinking environments around."
Other “super sponsors” of next year’s event include Monster energy, IFC, Miller Lite, Esurance AT&T. But dozens of consumer brands grab hold of different portions of the show, sponsoring concerts, events, lectures, offering food, amenities, transportation, and the like. There’s the “Samsung TechSet Blogger Lounge,” for instance. Oreo promoted its “Grab & Go” packaging there. American Airlines was the official carrier last year. Showtime was also an official sponsor. Among automakers, Chevrolet has been involved several times. Toyota has touted its Yaris car there. Ford’s futurist Sheryl Connelly has spoken there. And Mazda has been there.
The automaker's U.S. sales and marketing operation, based in Irvine, CA, did another event-focused program in September to support the 25th anniversary of Miata and launch of the new MX-5 Miata. That program involved automotive sponsorship of the CBS special during Fashion Week in New York, “Fashion Rocks.”
The six-week campaign around the 2016 MX-5 included a digital campaign www.FashionRocksLive.com/The-Roa featuring artists like Pitbull, J. Lo, Usher, and Duran Duran. And Duran Duran performed at the Sept. 3 online unveiling of the MX-5 (streamed from a live event in Monterey, not far from the Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway), a week prior to the Fashion Week event.
Last year, the automaker launched its first new campaign in nearly 13 years, with a "Game Changers" tagline and creative featuring people who have done radically different things in their respective fields.