November 23, 2015
Italian automaker Maserati is leveraging its exclusivity for a cause with help from a two-wheeled friend.
The automaker will work with Italian bicycle brand Cipollini to create a road bike to auction off for Action Medical Research Funds. The charitable engagement will help Maserati convey admirable values and maintain a desirable brand.
"The Purpose of this one-off is to simply promote the brand in a different light that encapsulates part of their demographic that may share similar interests in the bike market," said Brett Levine, cofounder of Drive Anything, Huntingdon Valley, PA.
Mr. Levine is not affiliated with Maserati, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Maserati could not respond by press deadline.
The Cipollini BOND road bike is branded with Maserati’s signature trident and is painted in the automaker’s blue and white colors.
Cipollini's founder, Mario Cipollini, who is a retired Italian professional road cyclist, will sign the Maserati branded bicycle. The collaborative bicycle will be sold at professional road cycling journal Rouleur’s inaugural Rouleur classic event.
Maserati trident on the Cipollini BOND road bike
The automaker is also the title sponsor of the Rouleur Classic, a major aspect of Maserati’s new cycling initiative. The Maserati Cycling program will create exclusive events for cyclists and celebrate the brand’s affinity with the sport.
As evidence of climate change continues to mount and its impending hazards become clearer, consumers are beginning to gravitate toward electric and low-emissions vehicles. Such vehicles are often antithetical to racing and sports cars, but by getting involved in cycling, consumers may see an implicit acknowledgement of and attempts to mitigate climate change.
Cipollini is a sensible match for Maserati, as both brands are known for speed and style.
Maserati Cipollini BOND road bike
Proceeds from the silent auction will go to Action Medical Research, which brought polio and rubella vaccines and ultrasounds to the United Kingdom. Contributing to worthy causes creates positive brand associations and helps to court consumers in the long run.
“‘We hope our partnership with Cipollini will add another interesting element to the event,” said Peter Denton, regional manager for Maserati Northern Europe, in a statement. “To be able to produce a truly one-of-a-kind Maserati Cipollini road bike which will allow us to raise money for a great charity like Action Medical Research is fantastic. The bike is a beautiful piece of design and represents perfectly the style, tradition and quality that Maserati stands for.”
Items on auction
Working with Cipollini on a single bike rather than a line allows Maserati to remain exclusive and desirable.
The auction will end at 4 p.m. CET on Thursday, Nov. 26. Interested consumers can place a bid on www.championsofcyclesport.com. The bike begins at $2,134.
Short-run partnerships and exclusive offerings are among Maserati’s regular methods.
Earlier this November, the automaker positioned itself for the youth market by helping to launch Ldny Foundation’s Legacy Collection.
In partnership with digital design firm Those, the Legacy Collection was on display in the windows of department store Liberty London for a week’s time, ending Nov. 2. Working with technology companies and charities could make Maserati more visible to a younger and aspirational audience (see story).
Other automotive brands also seek to raise awareness through philanthropic initiatives.
For example, British automaker Land Rover is continuing its support of wildlife charity Born Free through its partnership on a new lion enclosure and visitor center in Ensessakotteh, Ethiopia.
“The Tree House” has been remodeled to accommodate thousands of students each year, with classroom facilities that allow for interactive learning activities such as writing workshops and role-playing. By focusing on educating the next generation, Land Rover can help to make a difference in the conservation and treatment of lions (see story).
"I believe at the end of the day there is either a specific relationship with cycling or more over from a charity standpoint one of the other brands are promoting," Mr. Levine said. "This is either good press for Maserati, in relation to their marketing or advertising with the customer base they believe they share, or simply partnering up for a good cause."
Forrest Cardamenis, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily