The Audi Club
On the last home game for the New York Red Bulls, the arena was filled with great energy as the Red Bulls won and clinched first place in the Eastern Conference with a victory over the Philadelphia Union but also the Audi celebrated their new partnership with the team. As I made my way into the arena I can hear a tremendous roar and excitement, although the game just started it seemed as if the Red Bulls had score and as a matter of fact they did but not only did they score but broke an MLS record for fastest goal at seven seconds (beat previous record held by another Red Bull, Tim Cahill).
As a part of the partnership that was announced on Friday 10/16, Audi has received in-venue signage around the concourse areas, stadium field level and inner bowl, as well as has received official entitlement of the club space which has been renamed the Audi Club. In addition, complimentary parking is also available for the 2015 full season (including post season,) for Audi vehicles at participating lots subject to availability.
I spoke with the Director of the Audi Eastern Region, Jeff Tolerico about the new partnership with the Red Bulls and why NYC as opposed to LA or another big city, “We like to align ourselves with winning organizations so partnering up with Red Bulls makes sense for us”. The Red Bulls have certainly made waves this year as they set a club record for home wins in a season with 12. The Red Bulls are dominating this year and as a whole, soccer in this country is growing rapidly which is another point Jeff alluded too.
The new MLS partnership complements Audi’s Global Soccer footprint that includes Real Madrid and FC Bayern Munich sponsorships. Audi, along with its soccer partnerships also has the NY Yankees, so its clear the German car brand associates itself with classic and winning organizations.
In the luxury car landscape, there are 3 major players, BMW, Benz and Lexus. It has been that way for years, but in the last 5 years we have seen the growth of Audi and it all started with a couple well-placed commercials in the Super Bowl that started the climb up. I asked Jeff how would he describe the rise of Audi and how close are they to breaking into that top 3 category, “About 5 or 6 years ago we did a Super Bowl spot introducing the R8. Old luxury makes way for new luxury in Audi. Ever since then our A4, A5, A6, and A7 have done extremely well. A4 is our top seller and in the year 2016 we’re introducing a new A4, R8 and Q7 that will shake things up a bit.” How has Audi performed verses the top three this year? Jeff- “BMW, Mercedes Benz and Lexus are the top 3 bringing in about 230 to 250 thousand in sales per year while we will hit 200k this year.” Its clear that in the next 5 years Audi will crack the top three in sales and according to Jeff, the next five years as design, innovation and performance goes, Audi will introduce major changes to their current line of car models, sounds like Tesla should be concerned.
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