The brand's incorporation into the sports show is one of the fruits of a deal, announced late in 2003, between Jeep, its media-and-events marketing firm Aura360, and NBC, to bring an action-adventure sports series to the airwaves on Saturday afternoons. Each of the eight one-hour shows features extreme athletes engaged in daring activities. Jeep, which has a financial stake in the venture, is actively involved in shaping the show and its vehicles are also included in the content.
%%PULLQUOTE_RIGHT%% In the May 22 show, for instance, crew and athlete use a Rubicon, laden with kayaking gear and camera equipment, for the rugged, four-hour trek on Vancouver Island to Lacy Falls. During commercial breaks, five 30-second ads for Jeep will run. Promotions for the show include a cover wrap on Sports Illustrated magazine, sent to more than 2 million readers, that advertises a "Jeep World of Adventure Sports" sweepstakes and drives prospective participants to a Web site to sign up. Sweepstakes prizes include adventure experience trips to specific sports events as well as adventure gear.
The Chrysler Group has built a history of sports-related associations. This latest venture has Jeep serving as a "functional asset that enables athletes and adventurers to accomplish their goals",according to Rufus Frost, co-founder of Aura360. It aims at relevant product usage—not just having Jeep write a check as the show's sponsor. Contributing: Jean Halliday