American Marketer


Lexus pushes new products via charity racing challenge

February 11, 2011

Lexus is pushing products through charity racing contest


Lexus is raising awareness of new vehicles with its CT 200h Challenge, and in doing so will donate to the children’s foundation Rising Stars of America based on the number of celebrities that participate.

Baron Davis of the Los Angeles Clippers is challenging his celebrity friends to race in a special obstacle course across the street from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Lexus will give Mr. Davis $1,000 towards his foundation for each participant.

"This is an exciting way to showcase our newest hybrid, the CT 200h," said Nancy Hubbell, prestige communications manager at Lexus, Torrance, CA. "This hybrid is like no other in that it combines sporty driving and Lexus luxury with the high MPG hybrids are known for.

"Additionally, the CT 200h Challenge aligns us with individuals and organizations who share our commitment to the community we serve," she said. "It is because of our passionate pledge to better that community, we build environmentally fueled vehicles such as the CT 200h."

Rising Stars of America, founded in 2004 by Mr. Davis, teaches young adults ethical and social values and life skills through athletics, mentorship and positive role-modeling.

Challenges, challenges

The celebrity participants will race around the obstacle course in brand-new Lexus CT 200h vehicles.


The Lexus CT 200h

The person with the best time will be given a free one-year lease on the CT 200h, or they can opt to donate the amount of the lease to a charity of their choice.

All interested consumers are allowed to attend the event, and can RSVP at


Invitation to the challenge

There will be live music played by DJ Skee, and an assortment of food trucks available from The Komodo and Sweets.

Mr. Davis has been calling on NBA players, movie and television stars and news anchors via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Mr. Davis' shout-out video

These outlets have proven to be quite informative and engaging for interested consumers.

Lexus’ Facebook page has all of the challenge details listed, along with a poll, photo galleries and a list of Tweets that talk about the challenge.


Lexus promotes the initiative on Facebook

Both the brand’s and Mr. Davis’ Twitter accounts have been using social platforms to share details about the contest.


Lexus' Twitter feed

Additionally, Lexus’ YouTube feed is sharing shout-outs from Mr. Davis along with other promotional videos.

Lexus' take on the challenge

So far, Michael Strahan, Robert Horry, Scott Pruett, DJ Skee, Cash Warren and Ben Lyons have accepted Mr. Davis' challenge.

As the process is just beginning, Lexus expects to receive additional confirmations in the coming days.

For a good cause

Lexus believes that its partnership with Rising Stars of America connects with the brand’s own charity, The Lexus Pursuit of Potential, a philanthropical effort designed to better the world and more children's lives.

These efforts involve partnering with charities that share the brand’s philosophy and commitment to change the world.

Other examples of the brand’s similar initiatives include The Lexus Eco Challenge, Champions for Charity golf events and the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors.

Therefore, Lexus’ partnership with Rising Stars of America matches its own efforts perfectly.

“Rising Stars of America utilizes athletics as a means of teaching life skills as well as ethical and social values through mentorship and positive role modeling,” Ms. Hubbell said. “This approach has allowed Rising Stars of America, and hence Lexus, to meaningfully impact children's lives in underserved communities.

“This foundation is important to Lexus because it exemplifies our dedication to giving back to our community,” she said. “The Foundation's goal is to encourage community leaders to join in the effort to safeguard our children's futures.

“Many children need extra guidance, support and hope in order to become productive members of society.”

Rachel Lamb is an editorial assistant at Luxury Daily. Reach her at