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Lexus partners with Madison Square Garden to boost New York exposure

October 30, 2012


Toyota Corp.’s Lexus will gain year-round exposure across Madison Square Garden’s sports, entertainment and media properties in New York through a long-term partnership with the Madison Square Garden Co.

Lexus is now the official luxury vehicle of Madison Square Garden, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Liberty and the Concert Series at Madison Square Garden. This partnership gives Lexus exposure to more than 600 million consumers annually.

“The strategy behind this partnership is to offer our customers a unique experience, as well as to expose people who may not be familiar with all Lexus has to offer,” said Nancy Hubbell, prestige communications manager at Lexus, Torrance, CA.

“There is nothing like going to a sporting or entertainment event and getting an experience that you have never had before,” she said. “Customers enjoy it tremendously and they remember the brands that gave them that experience.”

“With the new look and feel of Madison Square Garden, and the added amenities of the Lexus Madison Suite Level, guests will have an unparalleled entertainment outing.”

Top-to-bottom transformation

Both Madison Square Garden and Lexus are undergoing transformations.

Madison Square Garden is in the process of a redesign to provide an enhanced experience for customers, athletes, entertainers and partners, per the Madison Square Garden Co.

The new Madison Square Garden 

For its part, Lexus has introduced nine new or significantly enhanced vehicles this year, per Ms. Hubbell.

The new Lexus Madison Suite Level will provide the brand with exposure to corporate entities with purchases of the Madison Level Suites and memberships in the new Madison Club. The new Madison Level Suites and Madison Club are in the lower level of the Arena.

In addition, Lexus will have a year-round, custom vehicle display on the new Terrace Level of the arena, which will debut in fall 2013. This area will serve as the entrance for event suite holders and club seat ticket-holders.

Lexus has been pushing its all-new ES through various campaigns such as an interactive Sports Illustrated advertisement and a Facebook application.

In Sports Illustrated, the automaker is using CinePrint technology so that when users put the ES print ad over their iPad while playing a video found on the tablet version of the magazine, there are light and sound effects on the print ad (see story).

The brand is also pushing the 2013 ES model’s updated technology and style through a Facebook app and additional social media promotions to let users vote for their favorite startup projects that the automaker will support with a monetary donation.

The automaker chose Facebook to host the “Lexus Ignition” campaign because it is its largest digital community, per Lexus. This campaign could potentially have a broad reach through Lexus’ use of social media channels beyond Facebook and mobile-optimized voting (see story).

Wheeler dealer

Since Lexus will be branded as the official luxury vehicle for all of Madison Square Garden's entities, the brand will have significant exposure at a number of sporting events and concerts.

Lexus will have exposure in the arena for all Knicks, Rangers and Liberty games. The brand will also have exposure at Madison Square Garden’s strong concert line-up.

“By associating a brand with certain groups or properties, we communicate the brand’s attributes and personality to customers and potential customers,” said Karen Kreamer, president of K2 Brand Consulting, Overland Park, KS.

“By associating with sports, entertainment and media events, Lexus will show that they understand their customers and care for their interests,” Ms. Kreamer said. “The wide range of marketing and hospitality opportunities will allow Lexus to both build the business and build the brand.”

For Lexus, this partnership gives it the opportunity to partner with iconic brands in New York, per Ms. Hubbell.

“Lexus always strives to exceed our customers’ expectations and this partnership will enable us to create outstanding entertainment opportunities for current and future customers,” she said.

Final Take
Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York