Land Rover is launching its second annual “Defender Service Awards” to celebrate and support charitable organizations in the United States and Canada.
This year, the automaker is partnering with Chase and other brands.
Five finalists will be selected in each of five categories: Search and Rescue, Environmental and Conservation, Veterans Outreach, Community Service and Animal Welfare.
Chase, as presenting sponsor will donate $5,000 to each of the five finalists, per category for a total of $125,000.
Other category sponsors include Pelican (protective cases and lighting) for Search and Rescue; Outside Magazine for Environmental & Conservation; dentsu X (branding and marketing agency) for Veterans Outreach, ei3 (software systems) for Community Service and Kong (pet products) for Animal Welfare. Each category sponsor will donate $25,000 to its respective category winner.
Each category winner will be given a Land Rover Defender 130 vehicle with custom features to aid in its specific endeavors.
The vehicle is all new for 2023, featuring three rows of seating for up to eight people along with 88.9 cubic feet of load capacity. Winning organizations will have the opportunity to outfit their vehicle with select Land Rover accessories, along with a custom exterior design wrap.
Charities can submit videos on how a new vehicle would help aid in their organization’s mission from July 25 to September 7.
Last year’s winning organizations were chosen for their work in seven categories: Search and Rescue, Coastal and Marine Conservation, Animal Welfare, First Responders, Environmental, Urban Improvement, and Fire Safety and Response.
The competition attracted more than 300 submissions and 165,000 votes.
The winners were: Wolfe County Search and Rescue (Campton, Kentucky); New York Marine Center (Riverhead, New York); Humane Society of Independence County (Batesville, Arkansas); Montgomery Emergency Medical Services (Belle Mead, New Jersey); One Tree Planted (Shelburne, Vermont); Hamptons Community Outreach (New York, New York) and Navarre Beach Fire Rescue Inc. (Navarre, Florida).
Joe Eberhardt, president and chief executive officer, Jaguar Land Rover North America, met each of the nonprofit's leaders at a weekend event at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina early this year.
The winner gathered to see the vehicles for the first time, to learn how to use the off-road capabilities via instructors at the Land Rover Experience. COVID-19 necessitated the announcement of the winners last September to be conducted via an online event which can be viewed on Land Rover's YouTube channel.
Eberhardt says the program is “not a marketing idea or what can we do to sell more cars” but an effort to "give back to groups that have given so much of themselves.”