Tanner Friedman
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New Model for a World Class Gathering

Scenario: Attracting more than 1 million people and 40,000+ classic cars, The Woodward Dream Cruise is recognized as the largest one-day automotive event on the planet. Signed just seven months prior to its 14th annual iteration, Tanner Friedman was tasked with attracting new sponsors and overall interest for the uninhibited, 16-mile excursion through nine host communities, in the midst of a challenged Michigan economy.

Strategic Communications Solution: Tanner Friedman immediately began evolving all aspects of the Dream Cruise with the goal of building and putting a tangible face on the brand. With an automotive advisory committee consisting of some of the area’s top car designers and event coordinators, a slate of WDC “firsts” were conceived, developed and inaugurated, including:

  • A logo designed by a long-time GM automotive designer
  • A juried, auto competition “Dream Show” featuring custom trophies
  • A Grand Marshal in hot rod superstar Troy Trepanier
  • A music CD of original songs featuring artists with a Motown Records lineage
  • An all-new, redesigned, interactive website, including a regular blog component

Additionally, Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit was enlisted for post-event cleanup, in order to help defray overall costs.

Results: Major accolades were garnered for all aspects of the 2008 Woodward Dream Cruise—from attendees, media, observers (i.e. blogs) and sponsors alike. New Cruise components enabled the creation of re-energized and compelling sponsor packages and new revenue streams including: trophy sponsorships, program ads and Web banner promotions. As a result, numerous top corporate sponsors from across the country were brought on board such as: Champion Laboratories (STP, Mobil One), Farmer’s Insurance, Flagstar Bank, Guardian Alarm, ICEM and Turtle Wax, among others. Importantly, 1.2 million people from as far away as Australia, Europe and the U.K. enjoyed a safe, fun, family-friendly celebration of Detroit’s great automotive heritage.

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