American Marketer


Mercedes-Benz raffles vehicles for leukemia ball

March 10, 2011

Mercedes is donating its 2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 Cabriolet as a grand prize at Washington DC's Leukemia Ball.


Mercedes-Benz is giving back to the community by donating two of its vehicles to be raffled off at the National Capital Area Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's 24th Annual Leukemia Ball in Washington.

This is Mercedes’ fifteenth year sponsoring the raffle at this event. All of the proceeds from the raffle will go toward the Society’s mission to cure blood cancers.

“Most consumers, when going to buy a car, beat up the dealership and try to get a lower price,” said Chris Ramey, president at Affluent Insights, Miami. “But, the wealthiest people in Washington are looking at these cars, which creates a unique and wonderful opportunity for Mercedes to be a desired product for people who already want to buy one, and can afford to buy one.

“It creates a peer-to-peer relationship with Mercedes and its customers,” he said. “The platform that works is highlighting and illustrating to those who are most likely to be your customers that you have the same values and that what is important to you is important to them.

“When you find that connection, the opportunity to sell to them is much easier.”

For a good cause

As the raffle representing sponsor, the brand is donating a 2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 Cabriolet as the grand prize, and a 2011 C300 Sport Sedan as first prize in the raffle.


E350 Cabriolet


C300 Sport Sedan

Raffle tickets are $100. More information can be found at or by calling 703-399-2900.

The Leukemia Ball is Washington’s largest non-political black-tie event. It has raised more than $40 million since its founding in 1988.

The ball will take place on March 12 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Guests will be treated to a musical performance and a silent auction to raise additional funding.

As far as Mercedes' promotion for this event, Mr. Ramey recommends caution, especially with global mediums such as social networking.

“Mercedes has to be careful of how it promotes things on a social scale,” Mr. Ramey said. “Should it be there? Yes. But only on local dealership pages because the brand doesn’t want someone in San Francisco asking where his or her car is.

“Its best bet is to do local promotions, like newspaper ads, where they will probably get a better deal, anyway,” he said.

Philanthropy junkie

Mercedes is well-known for its commitment to charitable causes.

In addition to its sponsorship of the Leukemia Ball, Mercedes takes its philanthropical efforts in quite a few directions.

For example, it supported the efforts of entrepreneurs by donating money to assist in the start-up of ecofriendly businesses (see story).

“As brands become more involved in philanthropy, it’s not enough to just donate or give lip service,” Mr. Ramey said. “Getting involved on a personal level will enhance loyalty and will provide further opportunities to sell to others who are involved in the philanthropy.

“A good brand has a strategy over multiple projects,” he said. “Furthermore, a good philanthropic strategy is not an option anymore.

"All luxury brands should have them.”

Final Take

Mercedes-Benz 2011 raffle sponsorship video

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