Land Rover is building a roster of star endorsers with 10 snow-sport athletes representing its brands this winter – as well as a rock/pop singer warming up in the wings.
Alpine ski racers Lindsey Vonn, Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin are among the luxury automaker’s new endorsers, along with snowboarders Maddie Mastro and Chris Corning. It’s part of the luxury automakers new partnership with U.S Ski & Snowboard, the national governing body for the US Olympic teams.
Next on the endorser line-up this spring will be singer John Mayer, who will create a multimedia content package in conjunction with the National Park Service and The Atlantic. Land Rover selected Mayer because he is an actual owner of the Land Rover Defender, which has not been sold in the United States since 1997.
"John Mayer is a fan of the Defender," said Kim McCullough, vice president of marketing, Jaguar Land Rover North America. "He personally owns multiple Defenders. It is important to have a relationship that is coming from a very sincere place."
The package by Mayer and The Atlantic will retrace the footsteps of naturalist and conservationist John Muir, considered the father of the National Park Service. Muir’s early writings about his time in the Sierra Nevada range later appeared in The Atlantic Monthly and are credited with spurring the creation of Yosemite National Park.
"He is going to be going on the same roots once visited by John Muir," said McCullough. "We feel it is a nice connection with the Land Rover brand."
As for McCullough’s new US Ski & Snowboard endorsers, McCullough is impressed at how naturally they’ve taken to the spotlight. Seasoned endorsers like Vonn are making appearances for the brand.
"We already had Lindsey Vonn out at are event for the Defender launch at the LA Auto Show," said McCullough, adding she’ll also show up at a retailer conference.
Shiffrin, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, appears in a 2020 Range Rover Sport brand spot, "Play Harder This Winter" from agency Spark44, that shows her off-roading up the snowy slopes.
Snowboarder Mastro, freeskiers David Wise and Maggie Voisin, and U.S. Alpine team members Bryce Bennett and Steve Nyman appear in other spots that highlight product features of the line-up.
"These are athletes, not actors, and they did an awesome job...showing emotion and nuance," noted McCullough. "It might be a case of their fear factor being on the very low bar of it."