Chevrolet drops Woodward Dream Cruise sponsorship – Detroit Free Press

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Chevrolet said today it is ending its six-year relationship with the Woodward Dream Cruise as its primary sponsor.

Tony Michaels, executive director of the Dream Cruise, said an agreement with a new presenting, or primary, sponsor is in the works and is scheduled to be announced in the next seven to 10 days.

“Chevrolet was a phenomenal partner. They opted not to renew, for whatever reason, and we are going to be making a major announcement shortly,” Michaels said. “We already have a new agreement.”

Chevrolet has been the presenting sponsor since 2011 when it struck a $1 million, three-year agreement. At the time, the deal was a boon for the Dream Cruise. The organization had been struggling with sponsorships and had lost an $80,000 sponsorship from Motor City Casino.

On Friday, Michaels said the Dream Cruise’s total sponsorships are healthy for 2017 and are on track to equal last year’s level.

The Dream Cruise, a non-profit corporation, reported total gifts, grants and contributions of $470,444 in 2015, the most recent year that its tax form was available. That was down from $643,378 in 2014.

A spokeswoman for Chevrolet said the brand will continue to be involved with the annual event, which will occur on Saturday, Aug. 19, this year.

“We evaluate our sponsorships on a regular basis and make adjustments to our strategy based on our business needs,” Chevrolet said in a statement. “While we are no longer the sponsor, we still see great value in engaging with Chevy fans.”

Chevrolet said it will continue to display its vehicles in Birmingham and Royal Oak along Woodward Avenue this year.

Chevrolet reached a deal with Olympia Entertainment last month for Chevrolet to become the official vehicle of the all-new Little Caesars Arena. Chevrolet said its decision regarding the Dream Cruise was unrelated to the Little Caesars Arena sponsorship.

Michaels declined to provide any hints about who the new presenting sponsor will be.

For the past two years, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has been involved as the presenting sponsor of Roadkill Nights Sponsored by Dodge in Pontiac, which takes place the Friday before the Dream Cruise.

Eileen Wunderlich, a spokeswoman, for Fiat Chrysler, said none of the Auburn Hills brands are signing on as presenting sponsor for the Dream Cruise.


Every year, thousands of visitors from around the world flock to Woodward Avenue to pay homage to vintage cars and trucks as well as the newest cars on the road.

The event, in its 23rd year, stretches from Ferndale north to Pontiac.

The Dream Cruise bills itself as the world’s largest one-day celebration of car culture. It attracts more than one million visitors annually and the owners of more than 50,000 muscle cars, street rods, custom, collector and special interest vehicles. 

Contact Brent Snavely: 313-222-6512 or Follow him on Twitter @BrentSnavely.




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