Mercedes-Benz Canada and Live Nation Canada have struck a three-year deal to provide premium concert tickets to the automaker’s customers and VIP hospitality programs to its dealers to set itself apart from other luxury brands.
Through Mercedes-Benz Star Access, customers can reach a dedicated concierge who will personally assist with the purchase of tickets anytime between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET. The service is available to customers who have leased, financed or purchased a vehicle through the Mercedes-Benz Canada dealer network.
Through a separate program called Mercedes-Benz Star Access VIP, the Mercedes-Benz Canada dealer network will be able to create unique experiences for their customers at Live Nation Canada events across the country. That could include a group of tickets to a show or dinner and drinks beforehand.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The promotional idea is that of Mercedes-Benz Canada President Brian Fulton, who had it come to him at a Bryan Adams concert at Budweiser Place in Toronto in the summer of 2016.
“Initially, it was just about us needing to get season tickets to Budweiser Place for our Toronto retail group of stores, just to thank our customers with a great season of music,” Fulton told Automotive News Canada in an interview.
So, JoAnne Caza, the company’s communications director, reached out to Live Nation. Fulton said it immediately grew from that first call.
“That was the beginning, the genesis of the partnership,” Fulton said.
Live Nation wanted to know why Mercedes-Benz was only looking at Budweiser Place. Fulton said, “one thing led to another” and Live Nation told Mercedes-Benz that it’s in every Canadian market that the automaker has dealerships.
Mercedes-Benz has 11 retail operations and 47 authorized dealerships in Canada while Live Nation puts on about 1,200 concerts per year.
“You look at the growth of Live Nation in Canada and the people and the markets they touch, it seemed like a good fit,” Fulton said. “We’re really trying to differentiate ourselves and do something unique for our customers; something that they wouldn’t be able to experience if they were driving a competitive vehicle.”
Fulton said Canada is the only country in which Mercedes-Benz has struck a partnership like this.
Ian Lee, an assistant professor at the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University, says the deal “fits perfectly with the Mercedes brand.”
“In providing access to a concierge, which is typically only available within a high-end hotel, they are providing additional differentiation to perceived status events or first choice of prestigious talked-about concerts,” Lee said. “It seems to me they are trying to further differentiate themselves both inside and outside the automobile.”
The partnership also includes Mercedes-Benz advertising on digital screens at Live Nation Canada events from coast to coast.
Fulton said Mercedes-Benz is trying to reach younger customers, especially millennials, those between 18 and 29 years old.
“We think we’re going to be able to, through Live Nation and through their network, touch our customers and prospective customers. It really positions the brand,” Fulton said.
“You look at the growth of Live Nation in Canada and the people and the markets they touch it seemed like a good fit.”