American Marketer

Events / Causes

Maserati leverages organic brand values for driving courses

March 25, 2014


Italian automaker Maserati is drawing consumers to its Master Maserati driving courses with the promise of an authentic cultural experience.

The available driving courses vary in both duration and intensity, but are girded by culturally resonant activities. Whether conversing with locals, eating prosciutto or tasting local wine, Maserati strives to impart an attitude specific to the brand.

"Maserati is situated at the heart of not only in what is considered the heart of Italian design, Northern Italy, but also Italy’s breadbasket," said Jeffrey Ehoodin, public relations manager at Maserati North America, New York.

"The location of the program, at the Varano Racetrack in Parma is close to where our cars were born, and where Italian culture has some of its deepest culinary and societal roots," he said. "The goal is to use these aspects organic to our heritage and create a driving school unlike any other.

"During the program, thanks to the format, you live with some of the most accomplished drivers in Italy. You not only learn proper technique on a world class race track, but you and your guests spend time, eat local delicacies, sample local wine and socialize together in a beautiful mountain setting."


Maserati offers four primary driving courses at the Varano De' Melegari course in Parma, Italy.

The Master GT 1 course bundles events into a single day. Expert tutors stress driving fundamentals while coaching guests to become safer and more efficient drivers, especially when confronted with emergency situations.

Tutor at Maserati Master course

Guests can book a course-only or overnight package. The course package includes track-time, insurance, lunch at the circuit, open bar and Maserati gifts, and the overnight package adds bed and breakfast at a local hotel and shuttle service.

The GT 2 courses allows guests to internalize skills over a two-day period.

Day two's itinerary is broken down into 15 segments to incorporate activities such as "On track with telemetry analysis - driving competition based on remote monitoring of performance" and "Laps of the track with the pace car."

Maserati Master course

For drivers with advanced skill level, a high performance course is geared to match the rigor of competitive circuit driving. Guests receive in-depth analysis regarding "safety, advanced high-speed driving concepts, technically complex and stimulating control exercises" from a large group of instructors.

Finally, a holistic cultural experience is served up through the Master Italian Lifestyle Experience, in which the brand designs activities relating to luxury, fashion, art, food and more in Parma and Florence.

The 50 Maserati Master instructors were selected for their professional ability and teaching experience. An instructor oversees participants during each stage of driving.

Each course maxes out at 24 participants, with groups of 6 to 8. Guests are encouraged to bring companions who can either hang out at the course or design their own excursions. More information can be found here.

Participants at Maserati Master course

Mr. Ehoodin said that the Maserati's courses are distinct because of the overall cultural experience. More than refining the skills of drivers, the brand strives to convey the essence of its birthplace through curated food offerings, activities and the overall effect of the atmosphere.

Master Maserati Driving Courses

Branded duties

Driving events are essential for cultivating brand loyalty. Most luxury brands continually refresh their offers.

For instance, British automaker Bentley Motors is expanding its driving tours with new locations and partnerships to draw new consumers and treat Bentley loyalists to curated experiences.

The tours travel through Britain, Italy, France and parts of the United States and link up with luxury partners such as Chanel and Harrods. Providing customers with experiences that situate a brand in the larger context of luxury while demonstrating the best of what showcased products can accomplish enables automakers to cultivate loyalists (see story).

Also, French automaker Bugatti is ingratiating itself with prospective North American consumers via a day-long driving program in the Grand Sport Vitesse model.

The “Dynamic Drive Experience” enables participants to drive on challenging road courses, closed roads and airport runways to get a sense of the car’s maximum potential. The brand will enact four events annually in the United States and Canada, with the first event taking place in Las Vegas (see story).

For Maserati, crafting driving courses goes beyond getting clients into cars.

"The net result is you gain a greater sense of the cultural perspective which creates not only the cars, but the other products which are considered the finest in the world and ‘Made in Italy,’"Mr. Ehoodin said.

"We are representatives of Northern Italy, the food, the people, Master Maserati, like the brand itself, is an embodiment of this World Class tradition," he said.

Final Take
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York