BMW of North America continues its six-year Olympic sponsorship by developing six two-person bobsleds for the U.S. men’s and women’s bobsled teams. A documentary, “Driving on Ice,” aired Sunday as BMW highlighted the company’s involvement with the project.
Michael Scully, a creative director at DesignworksUSA (a consultancy owned by BMW Group) used his extensive knowledge of racecar design to lead the construction of the Olympic-ready bobsleds.
In addition to featuring Olympic athletes, the documentary explains how Scully accounted for the challenges he came across in designing bobsleds with maximum aerodynamics, even as they race sideways through the track’s turns.
Rather than use the airtime to advertise BMW’s luxury vehicles, the company maintains the “tone of an independent documentary” and appeals to viewers through storytelling.
BMW did introduce two commercials during the documentary’s showing, but overall the automaker kept the overt advertising to a minimum.
That’s because it was about more than the advertising.
“The way we entered this sponsored relationship is much deeper than the rights to the rings,” Trudy Hardy, BMW of North America’s vice president of marketing said. “We wanted to find ways to make our athletes’ performance better.”
The last time the U.S. men’s two-man bobsled team won the Olympic gold was in 1936. According to The New York Times, that was also when gas cost 10 cents a gallon. We at BMW of Bowling Green seriously doubt we’ll be getting back to those gas prices; but, hopefully, BMW’s sleds will help the U.S. bobsled teams get back to the gold medal podium.