Ford Set to Roll Into New Orleans as Exclusive Automotive Partner of 2010 Essence Music Festival

Jun 30, 2010, 09:04 ET from Ford Motor Company

DEARBORN, Mich., June 30 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Ford Motor Company is back for the second year as the exclusive automotive partner of the 2010 Essence Music Festival being held this July Fourth weekend in New Orleans

  • Ford will be involved with the festival in an organic way that enables people to learn more about Ford's newest products in a fun and meaningful atmosphere

  • Ford's continued partnership with Essence Communications allows the company to demonstrate its technologically advanced and fuel-efficient products to a diverse group of influencers and opinion leaders during the largest African American music and culture event in the U.S. that regularly attracts a quarter million attendees a year

Ford Motor Company is back for the second year as the exclusive automotive partner of the 2010 Essence Music Festival being held this July Fourth weekend in New Orleans. Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige are set to headline the festival, which is touted as the largest African American music and culture event in the U.S., attracting an estimated 250,000 participants.

As a proud partner of the festival, Ford has created unique programs for the city of New Orleans and festival attendees, including the chance to win the keys to an all-new 2011 Ford Edge, a scholarship contest exclusive to New Orleans students displaced by Hurricane Katrina, and the chance to take a drive behind the wheel of some of the newest products from both Ford and Lincoln like the 2011 Ford Edge, which features MyFord Touch technology.

As Ford's Multicultural Marketing Manager Shawn Lollie explains, the Essence Music Festival is a strong partnership that offers a tremendous opportunity when it comes to awareness of Ford and Lincoln products within the African American market, particularly African American women.

A snapshot of Ford Motor Company's activities during 2010 Essence Music Festival

At the 2010 Essence Music Festival, Ford will invite the New Orleans community and festival attendees to participate in a variety of activities all designed to inform and entertain. This year's activities include the "Steve Harvey Morning Show Broadcast," vehicle test drives and celebrity autograph signings within the Ford display.  

To support healthy living, Ford will sponsor the Essence Music Festival Healthy Living Fair. Under this initiative, Ford will partner with the Susan G. Komen Foundation on Breast Cancer Awareness initiatives directed toward the New Orleans community. Actress LisaRaye and Carla Ferrell of the "Steve Harvey Morning Show" will also join Ford and Susan G. Komen executives during the fair.

"We've found that the Essence festival is an excellent opportunity to interact with thousands of individuals from across the country who are opinion leaders and trend-setters. Our interactive and experiential displays will enable these opinion leaders to get close to our products and brand to experience the amazing technology," said Lollie.

Ford also will be partnering with author and actor Hill Harper to present two New Orleans students with scholarship awards as part of the Youth Outreach program. The scholarships are being awarded as part of a poetry slam being hosted by the Ford Motor Company Fund and The Manifest Your Destiny House Program founded by Harper. Each scholarship will be in the amount of $5,000.

"This scholarship presentation will allow us to tap into some of the rich creativity in the New Orleans community while also providing scholarships to deserving students," said Lollie. "We not only get to play a role in educational attainment, but we also get to provide a platform for deserving high school students to share their stories."

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 176,000 employees and about 80 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln and Mercury, production of which has been announced by the company to be ending in the fourth quarter of 2010, and, until its sale, Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit

About Essence Communications Inc.

Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media and communications company dedicated to African-American women. With a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online, the Essence brand is "Where Black Women Come First." The company's flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the Essence Music Festival, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood, Window on Our Women (WOW I & II) and Smart Beauty I, II & III consumer insights, the Essence Book Club,, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 40 years, ESSENCE magazine, which has a brand reach of over 8 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information relating to every area of African-American women's lives. Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at

SOURCE Ford Motor Company