Auburn Hills, Mich. – Chrysler Group LLC’s Ram Truck brand, Great Lakes Business Center and Southeast Michigan Ram dealers have expanded their partnership with the Detroit Red Wings, one of America’s most successful professional sports franchises.
- Ram named ‘Official Truck of the Red Wings’ for 2011-12 NHL season.
- Red Wings forward Johan Franzen and goalie Jimmy Howard featured in campaign.
The business center and local Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge and Ram dealers are enhancing their Red Wings partnership this year with new elements inside and outside the Joe Louis Arena. Ram has been named the “Official Truck of the Red Wings” and to celebrate, local Ram dealers are selling a limited number of special Red Wings Edition Ram trucks.
The trucks are based off the newly introduced Ram 1500 Express 4X4 Crew Cab model and include Red Wings logoed front-seat headrests, optional Red Wings embroidered leather seats, “Detroit Red Wings Edition” graphics on the tailgate and rear bed sides, and other features. Colors available are red, white, and black.
As another new element of the expanded partnership, Red Wings forward Johan Franzen is featured in television spots and billboards, and goalie Jimmy Howard is featured in a Ram mural inside the Wings’ home, Joe Louis Arena.
“The Red Wings and Ram share the same values of hard work, toughness, and the determination to win,” said John Plecha, Director of the Great Lakes Business Center. “It is this passion that the brand captures in new creative elements produced specifically for our partnership and built off of Ram’s successful Guts Glory campaign.”
In the TV spot, “Ram vs. Mule,” the power and toughness of Franzen – nicknamed “Mule” – is compared to that of the Ram truck as both face off on center ice.
In the mural, a determined Howard is pictured under the Guts Glory headline wearing a special Ram branded goalie mask. The mural was painted live at Joe Louis Arena Nov. 9 – 12 by renowned hockey artist David Arriggo of Toronto. The one-of-a-kind hand-painted mask will be auctioned for charity later this year.
“As the Official Truck of the Red Wings, Ram understands the value of activation at every level of the sponsorship,” said Tom Wilson, Olympia Entertainment President.” We are proud of the relationship and appreciate the energy Ram brings to our team.”
Out-of-arena Campaign Elements
Television – 30-second spot
A 30-second Ram TV spot titled “Ram vs. Mule” opens at center ice of Joe Louis Arena with a Ram 1500 parked to the left of the center line and Franzen standing to the right. After an opening title that says Ram vs. Mule, the camera cuts back and forth between Franzen and the Ram truck as the voiceover describes common qualities they share such as Ram great on snow/ Mule great on ice, handles hostile road conditions/handles hostile road games, menacing grille/menacing grille and even a bit about how they both have serious contracts. It’s all a fun play on their names that ends with a beauty shot of the Ram 1500 and a voiceover and title that names the Ram 1500 as “The Official Truck of Hockeytown.”
Radio – 60-second spots
“Ode to Hockeytown” captures the sights and sounds inside Joe Louis Arena and why Ram is proud to be a part of Hockeytown. “Road Warrior” refers to the tenacity of Ram trucks and the Detroit Red Wings stating “whether you’re miles away from civilization or inches away from the glass, Ram trucks and the Red Wings make the road their home.” The ads are narrated by Sam Elliott, the voice of Ram.
“Ram Meet Mule” proclaims Ram the Official Truck of the Detroit Red Wings with an image of Franzen standing on the ice in front of the Red Wings Ram Edition 1500.
“Ram: Official Truck of the Detroit Red Wings” print ads will run throughout December on the back sports pages of the Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Oakland Press and Macomb Daily newspapers.
In-arena Campaign Elements
Additional expanded in-arena campaign elements include a second mural – with the headline “Good Things Come in Eights” promoting the 390 horsepower HEMI® V8 Red Wings Edition Ram and referencing the days when the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup championship in eight games – concourse curtains of the Ram truck grille, in-game virtual signage and in-ice Ram logos, exclusive Ram sponsorship of the popular “Score-O” intermission promotion and the “Stars of the Game” feature, and fan-engagement promotions throughout the season. There will also be a 30-second big screen video encouraging fan participation and involvement through intermission chants around “HEMI. POWERED. HOCKEY.”
The television, billboard and newspaper ads were created in partnership with Doner, Detroit. The radio spots, murals, program advertising, arena video and other in-arena elements were created in partnership with The Richards Group in Dallas.
About Ram Truck Brand
The Ram Truck brand continues to establish its own identity and clearly define its customer since its launch as the newest Chrysler Group LLC vehicle brand. Creating a stand-alone brand for Ram trucks has allowed the brand to concentrate on how core customers use their trucks and what new features they’d like to see. Whether focusing on a family that uses its half-ton truck day in and day out, a hard-working Ram Heavy Duty owner or a business that depends on its commercial vehicles every day, Ram has the truck market covered.
For 2011, the Ram Truck brand added the hardest-working Ram trucks — the Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab trucks — to its already award-winning truck lineup which includes the rugged and reliable Dakota, the Ram Cargo Van, Ram 1500 – the most-awarded Ram truck ever – and Ram 2500/3500 Heavy Duty pickups.
The 2011 Ram 1500 was named a Consumers Digest Best Buy and AUTOMOBILE Magazine All-Star. Ram 1500’s smooth-riding suspension and 20 mpg, 390 hp HEMI V8 are just two of the reasons it beat the competition. Ram 1500 was also named the Truck of Texas by the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA).
About Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings hockey club, an Original Six member of the National Hockey League and 11-time Stanley Cup Champion, was purchased by Michael and Marian Ilitch in 1982. Other Ilitch companies in the food, sports and entertainment industries include: Little Caesars Pizza, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Ilitch Holdings, Inc., Olympia Entertainment, Olympia Development, Little Caesars Pizza Kits Fundraising Program, Champion Foods and Uptown Entertainment. Michael Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers. Marian Ilitch owns the MotorCity Casino Hotel. For more information, visit www.DetroitRedWings.com.