BOSTON, April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Smiles In Boston-- smart, the global
automotive brand that is revolutionizing the design, production and marketing
of premium small vehicles around the world is the official car sponsor of the
108th Boston Marathon running on Monday, April 19, 2004. This marks the first
appearance ever of the smart cars in New England, where they will also be seen
at a number of events and locations throughout the city of Boston April 14-19.
A member of the Mercedes Car Group, smart is an entry level premium car
manufacturer that debuted in 1998 and offers six models in 31 global markets.
The brand will enter the U.S. market in 2006 with a smart utility vehicle
called the formore.
"We're excited to play an important role in the world's best-known
marathon, while at the same time introducing the smart brand to the people of
Boston, the international journalists and spectators at this event," said Dave
Schembri, vice president, smart USA. "While marathons are serious events, they
are also all about fun, and smart vehicles appeal to people who take their fun
seriously. And, given this city's heritage, we also think Bostonians will
appreciate that smart is a revolution within the world of cars."
The Boston Marathon is one of the world's oldest annual marathons and
ranks as one of the world's most prestigious road racing events. Some 500,000
spectators line the 26.2-mile course annually, making the Boston Marathon New
England's most widely viewed sporting event. The public will see the smart
fortwo at various points around the Boston Marathon course.
During the race, several "Follow Me" smart vehicles, which have become a
central feature of running events sponsored by smart, will also be positioned
at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, MA. "Follow Me"
smart vehicles will drive ahead of the field of competitors. In addition,
smart timing cars will drive around the course with timing devices and will
display interim times to the runners from the edge of the marathon course.
A Marathon of smart Fun
Sponsorship and participation in the Boston Marathon will mark the
culmination of a variety of activities for smart in Boston April 14-19.
Bostonians will see smart vehicles at a variety of locations and events around
the city, including a two-vehicle display at City Hall Plaza, Copley Square
and Faneuil Hall and an appearance at the Rack on Friday, April 16th, for
FOX's "Joe Millionaire" casting call.
Prior to the Boston Marathon, smart cars will help welcome back
winter-weary baseball fans with smart vehicles displayed around Fenway Park on
Lansdowne Street for two Red Sox games on April 14 when the Sox take on the
Baltimore Orioles and of course during the much anticipated April 17th game
against the New York Yankees. Fans heading to the Fleet Center to see the
Celtics take on the Miami Heat April 14 can see the smart cars displayed on
The smart cars will be displayed at the start and finish of the Boston
Athletic Association (B.A.) Freedom Run on Sunday, April 18. Later that day,
smart cars will be part of the traditional pre-Marathon pasta party at City
A Revolution in Small Vehicles
Introduced to the world in 1998, the smart line of vehicles is poised to
lead the automotive world in new concepts and benchmarks for premium
entry-level vehicles. With their unique engineering and design elements and
exuberant character, smart vehicles are changing perceptions of what small
vehicles can offer in terms of safety, performance and utility.
Perfect-Fit Marketing Strategy
The smart brand was introduced to the American public as the car sponsor
of the 2003 New York City Marathon. Since 2000, smart has sponsored
international running events all over the world including Berlin, Paris,
Vienna, Hong Kong, Taipei, Sydney, Capetown, Rotterdam and Madrid. In 2004,
smart is sponsoring 70 running events in 12 countries worldwide, making it the
only car group to support running events to this degree.
Involvement in city marathons complements the smart brand, its products
and the company's target market. Running is an international sport, and
marathons are held all over the world in every large city - exactly where the
smart brand is at home with its smart fortwo, a car developed especially for
"smart drivers have a lot in common with marathon runners," said Schembri.
"They are more active than average and have a variety of interests. They have
a zest for life, a great deal of enthusiasm and do not define themselves by
age or social background, but by intellectual and creative potential. The
smart brand will offer products that appeal to this audience in the United
States -- products that are innovative, intelligent, fun and youthful."
smart (www.smart.com) is a premium small car manufacturer that is part of
the Mercedes Car Group business unit of DaimlerChrysler. Celebrating its
sixth anniversary, smart is currently available in 31 markets, with global
sales of 124,700 units in 2003.
smart USA (a separate division within Mercedes-Benz USA) is based in
Montvale, N.J. and is responsible for the U.S. sales and marketing of the
brand. smart will launch the formore, a new model designed specifically for
this market, in 2006.
SOURCE smart USA