Ford to sponsor 2017 Woodward Dream Cruise after Chevy bows out

on Jul15

Photo credit: Will Harrah/Ford Motor Co.

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. will replace Chevrolet as the presenting sponsor of the 2017 Woodward Dream Cruise, metro Detroit’s annual celebration of car culture.

The Blue Oval will appear on signage and other media surrounding the 23rd annual cruise, which takes place Aug. 19. Ford inked a one-year deal with cruise officials, with an option to continue the partnership next year. A spokesman declined to reveal the price Ford paid for the sponsorship.

Chevy last month confirmed it was dropping the Dream Cruise sponsorship after a six-year run. Steve Majoros, director of marketing for Chevrolet, said the company’s decision to cease sponsorship comes after re-analyzing how marketing dollars are spent.

The General Motors brand initially signed a three-year deal worth more than $1 million in 2011, according to a Detroit News report. Before that, MotorCity Casino paid $80,000 a year to be the presenting sponsor.

“Dream Cruise is all about the sheer joy and freedom of the automobile, and Ford has always celebrated car culture,” Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president of U.S. marketing sales and service, said in a statement. “From Fiesta to GT, we’re obsessed with making driving fun and we’re committed to celebrating that passion with enthusiasts of all ages in the birthplace of motoring.”

In addition to the partnership, Ford will host its Mustang Alley event just north of Detroit in Ferndale, Mich., for the 19th-straight year. The pony car party features hundreds of Mustangs on display by owners from across the world.

For the first time this year, Ford will bring its Driving Skills for Life program to the cruise. The experience offers new drivers the opportunity to learn safe driving techniques through a new virtual reality app, Ford said.

The cruise is expected to attract 1.2 million people and about 40,000 classic cars.

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