Saab Salomon sponsor Raid

I’ve been waiting for a chance to use this photo for ages and the “Bob-Lutz-Darth-Vader-Fish-Fetish” story just never came along….

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….BUT

Saab and Solomon will be co-sponsoring various sporting events based on The Raid World Championship series of sporting events. These involve various outdoor disciplines including skiing, mountain biking and kayaking.

From the Detroit News:

Considered the toughest of multi-discipline sporting events worldwide, “The Raid” has been an appropriate sponsorship opportunity for Saab, General Motors’ Swedish luxury brand. While other upscale automakers typically gravitate to golf events for promotion, Saab decided five years ago to cultivate its idiosyncratic vision with a very different kind of sporting challenge.

“We’re trying to convey our image as a brand for sporting, active, young people,” says Irene Haslebrekk, Saab product manager. “In this event you see competitors who are strong individuals, the sort of people our buyers want to identify with. If we did a golf sponsorship, it just wouldn’t have the same impact.”

…..For 2007, the Raid is being reconstituted with a new name and a tighter focus for sponsors Saab and Salomon. The main event will be held at Mont Blanc in France in July. Called the Saab Salomon Mountain Sport Games, the gathering will highlight mountaineering, biking, white water activities, rope work and orienteering.

“Multi-sport is the key,” notes Haslebrekk. A related skiing-focused series called the Saab Salomon X Wing Rally will start next month at various ski resorts in the U.S. This will culminate in a chance for contestants to enter a European edition of the X Wing Rally, which involves driving between seven ski resorts in the Alps. Saab’s angle? Competitors will be behind the wheel of the newly revised 9-3 SportCombi model, which has caught on strongly in the market since its launch last year.

This sounds like a really good sponsorship. It’s big in Europe. It gives them more exposure in a focused market in the US – one that’s been open to Saabs in times past but has drifted to Volvo in recent times (Colorado, anyone?).

Saab started their partnership with Salomon a few years ago and its good to see them really leveraging it.

Great stuff!

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