American Marketer


Audi draws focus to technology, performance with ski race sponsorship

November 29, 2010

Audi is sponsoring the Birds of Prey ski race


Luxury automaker Audi is enhancing its image as a purveyor of high-performing, technologically advanced vehicles by serving as the official automotive sponsor for the Audi Birds of Prey Men’s Alpine World ski race.

The brand will support U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association teams by supplying Audi transportation within the country and Europe. The race takes place in Vail, CO, Dec. 3 – 5.

“Audi is selective about the events it sponsors,” said Bradley Stertz, public relations manager of corporate communications at Audi of America, Herndon, VA. “The connection has to be one of progressive technology and ultimate performance.

"For Audi in the U.S., we’ve found that fans of championship skiing are within our target demographic,” he said. “Sixty-three percent of the male customers who chose Audi also cite snow skiing as a hobby.

“Sixty percent of our married customers do as well.”

Audi offers a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. It has 272 dealers in the U.S.

The Audi Birds of Prey event is the only men’s World Cup stop in the U.S.

Performance events
Audi’s sponsorship of Audi Birds of Prey is in line with the brand’s commitment to performance events. It has also committed to sponsoring the Women’s Alpine World Cup, 2010 Aspen Winternational that takes place Nov. 27 – 28 and Denver FIS Big Air, Ski Big Air that takes place Jan 26 – 27, 2011.

Audi has supported skiing for 25 years, beginning with a German Ski Association partnership. It also sponsors alpine national teams of the United States, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, France, Liechtenstein, Italy, the Netherlands and Bulgaria.

This year marks the ninth year in which Audi is title sponsor of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup. Audi has extended the commitment up to and including the 2011 - 2012 season. The automaker is currently in the second season of a three season contract with USSA.

“With its quattro all-wheel drive technology celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2010, Audi is a natural fit with winter sports, especially the world’s highest-caliber skiing,” Mr. Stertz said.

Audi Birds of Prey is not the only performance event that the luxury automaker has sponsored. It was the title sponsor of the Eunice K. Shriver Challenge, a benefit to raise funds for Best Buddies International and the Special Olympics (see story).

“These associations further solidify the Audi image of performance and progressive attributes,” Mr. Stertz said.