Taking aim at country-music fans, Chevrolet is teaming up with singer Luke Bryan.
Bryan will be a Chevy brand ambassador for the next three years. The move follows the end of Chevy’s business relationship with Detroit rock star Kid Rock.
As an ambassador, Bryan will promote Chevy through his own social media channels and performances. He’s already brought a Chevrolet Silverado with the Z71 off-road package onstage, as part of his performance, and featured the Silverado on his YouTube show, Luke Bryan TV, before the partnership.
However, a Chevrolet spokesman said the partnership is meant to market the brand as a whole, not just trucks, to country music lovers. He mentioned women are an important part of the country music demographic. The benefits of the partnership will be mutual, as Chevrolet also agreed to sponsor Bryan’s Farm Tour that starts in October.
The spokesman said choosing Bryan was part of his “authentic” interest in Chevrolet. Bryan said in a statement he grew up on a farm, and that’s part of the reason he’s devoted to the brand.
“Chevy has been a part of our family and a part of our work life on the farm for as long as I can remember,” Bryan said in the statement. “If you were a Bryan, you drove a Chevy.”
Bryan’s first album, “I’ll Stay Me,” came out in 2007. He was awarded Entertainer of the Year a total of four times in 2012, 2014 and 2015 by the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.
Chevrolet ended its relationship with Kid Rock after sponsoring his summer tour in 2015. The tour encountered controversy last summer following reports of had a Confederate flag at his past concerts before his relationship with Chevy.
“Chevrolet has enjoyed its relationship with Kid Rock, both sponsoring his 2015 summer concert tour as well as collaborating with him on the creation of his customized 2016 Silverado 3500HD that we displayed at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, ” Chevrolet said in a statement. “While our business arrangement concluded at the end of 2015, our relationship remains amicable.”
Steve Haener, Chevrolet’s senior manager of media, experiential marketing and brand partnerships, said in an interview that Kid Rock’s tour sponsorship simply ran its “natural course,” but the brand maintains a “great relationship” with the artist.
Haener also said the partnership with Bryan isn’t meant to be a transition from one country poster-boy to another, as working with Bryan goes beyond a tour sponsorship and into a more multi-dimensional and long-term relationship.
“Most brands would be jealous to have this relationship,” Haener said. “People don’t write songs about Volvos, they write songs about Chevys.”