Lincoln is back, baby. Once a shining leader in the American luxury car space, Lincoln hit some hard times a few years back. U.S. sales fell to a 32-year low in 2013, but the brand bounced back in a big way.
The introduction of the MKC crossover propelled a 16 percent year-over-year sales increase in 2014, making it the fastest-growing luxury brand in the U.S. that year. This upward domestic sales trend continued last year, and with six months of sales figures in the books for 2016, the positive trend continues for the luxury-focused company that was founded in 1917 and has been a subsidiary of Ford since 1922.
A big part of the brand’s resurgence can be attributed to a renewed focus on “The Lincoln Way.” I learned more about this approach when I met up with Andrew Frick, Director of Sales and Service Operations this past week at the new Lincoln Experience Center located inside Fashion Island in Newport Beach (139 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660).
Frick is a tall, affable dude who’s quick to smile and has a sense of humor that’s as clever as Lincoln’s new brand messaging. The gist of “The Lincoln Way,” as Frick described it, is creating a “warm, human, personally crafted” experience for car owners. The words rolled off his tongue quite effortlessly and he revisited this central approach frequently when describing the new Lincoln Experience Center.
Officially launching this weekend, the Lincoln Experience Center is a comfortable, 5,200 sq. ft. space that provides visitors with immersive, tactile opportunities to explore the Lincoln Way.
“Our brand is in a better place than the perception of the brand locally,” Frick said. The purpose of the new space is to change that perception. Situating the space in an area with high foot traffic with a local demographic receptive to luxury car buying also helps.
Visitors can pop in and get a break from shopping by chilling (or working with Wi-Fi) in the lounge with a complimentary beverage. Tablets and a large, interactive Technology Wall are available so that guests can learn more about new Lincoln models and explore features and options. Cycling through colors, environments, wheel variations, roof options, interior color tones, back seat views, etc. in real time is a great way to expose more people to the brand’s offerings. An app is in the works as well and will likely be released in this fall.
Guests can also take in different design inspirations, schedule a test drive (or a more extended “date night” 24-48 hour weekend test drive) and visit the Revel Audio room to get a first-hand feel for the sound system’s capabilities. As Frick mentioned, “we sell a lot of vehicles because of the sound system,” and the audio room at the Lincoln Experience Center helps explain why. Visitors can also inquire about guaranteed pickup and delivery services (available for owners of new 2017 model-year Lincolns), leasing and finance options or even Skype directly with dealerships.
“We do believe we are going to sell vehicles through this experience,” Frick said, “and we’ve already started to do so.”
Frick went on to explain that “the plan is to learn from this environment” with the goal of opening similar spaces up in the near future. These types of environments also allow the brand to “do business on clients’ terms in ways that are important to them,” according to Frick.
The Lincoln Experience Center will also be used to host events in an effort, as Frick put it, to “engage the local community and support local businesses.” Visitors can reserve spots for events that will feature everything from musicians, artists and jewelers to chefs, sommeliers and cheese mongers. This program to deliver culture and luxury outside of the vehicle is part of Lincoln’s plan to reassert itself in the luxury car space in a way that’s more “warm, human and personally crafted” than a trip to your local Lincoln dealership.
One of the bigest things I took away from my visit to the Lincoln Experience Center and my conversation with Frick is that most luxury car owners don’t really want to get into the specs of a high performance, luxury vehicle. Horsepower, torque – not so important. The actual driving experience and the specifics of the luxury options available — like the curated Lincoln Black Label Collection or the Revel Audio sound system or the new Perfect Position Seats – these are the things that luxury car buyers in the America really care about.
“It’s not about what the car can do,” Frick said, “it’s about what the car can do for you.”
If you’re curious about the Lincoln Way, the 2017 Lincoln Continental Concept or just you want to find out more about different Lincoln models and options as you sip a free glass of champagne, go check out the space (139 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660).
When it comes to Michael Jordan and his signature sneakers everyone stops to look at the latest edition of the most popular shoe line. Last night Jordan Brand showcased the new Air Jordan XXXI in Las Vegas. Defiance is at the heart of Michael Jordan’s success. Throughout his career, the champion faced hurdles — injury, repeated defeat, illness — and continuously soared above them to realize the unexpected. Along the way, he redefined basketball’s relationship to style, the sport’s connection to youth counter-culture and the game’s creative potential.
When Jordan’s footwear arrived during his rookie season, it shared with the world some of its namesake’s tradition-breaking bravado. A black and red colorway violated the league’s uniform policy, earning a stern letter from league officials and generating a $5,000 fine each time the player wore the shoes on court. “Around this time, if you knew anything about Nike…Nike stood on this kind of rebel behavior,” recalls Jordan Brand VP Howard “H” White, in reference to the runners and tennis players connected to the Swoosh. “This Jordan, that color of the Air Jordan I, kind of galvanized that universal scope.”
The Air Jordan I set the tone for Jordan’s future, and his eponymous brand, transcending the court and finding favor across a broad spectrum of society, even with, as White reminds, skateboarders. “You just can’t make those stories up,” he says. “If somebody said, ‘Hey, here it is: Take the pen, take the pencil and draw it up just the way you want it,’ you probably couldn’t have drawn that up the way it came out.”
The Air Jordan XXXI represents a balance of Jordan Brand’s tradition of game-changing performance and its transcendent style: lightweight support for the world’s highest-flying athletes, including Russell Westbrook, and rich material details that exude an off-court sensibility.
The shoe’s first-of-its-kind Flyweave and leather upper incorporates a number of iconic Jordan elements, reintroducing the original Air Jordan “Wings” logo and a subtle Swoosh — not seen on a Jordan shoe since the Air Jordan I and the first time it has appeared alongside a Jumpman logo. And in its launch colorway the Air Jordan XXXI pays homage to the “banned” story.
Informed by Jordan himself, the Air Jordan XXXI also follows on a tradition of low-profile cushioning. “He needed to feel closer to the floor — that was his thing,” recalls White of the origin of Jordan’s desire for low-to-the-ground sole units. As such, the Air Jordan XXXI features FlightSpeed technology with full-length Zoom Air that enhances court feel, responsiveness and lateral support. “We really wanted to focus on propulsion in the forefoot, so when you’re coming down you’re engaging the FlightSpeed with the Zoom Air bag,” notes Kuerbis.
The Air Jordan XXXI “Banned” will be available globally September 3 in select retail stores and on Jordan.com. Stay tuned to @Jumpman23 on Instagram and Twitter for more information on the Air Jordan XXXI.
Did you all see the Republic National Convention? Some loved it and some didn’t know what was going on. Yet there is no question that the upcoming election has generated opinions across the spectrum, from ongoing policy discussions to international affairs to which candidate is the optimal choice to lead this country – and with more than 75.4 million in the US alone, Millennials have replaced Boomers as America’s most populous and arguably most influential generation.
Ranging from 21-34, some of our country’s most important technological, creative, and economical advancements can be directly attributed to the Millennial age group, yet the opportunity to hold the nation’s highest political office is being withheld from the very people who are changing the face of the nation and the world.
Today, Captain Morgan has launched a petition for Article II, Section I of the United States Constitution to be changed, which restricts those under the age of 35 from becoming president.
As part of the campaign, the Captain Morgan brand has teamed up with a crew of influential and notable Under 35s who are making an impact and changing the world in their own right – including Mogul’s Tiffany Pham, JASH’s Mickey Meyer, Thrillist’s Ben Lerer, Thinkful’s Dan Friedman, and more – to support the cause.
To join the movement, adults 21+ are encouraged to visit UNDER35POTUS.com in order to sign the petition. If 100,000 signatures have been acquired by August 12, 2016, the White House will review the petition, distribute it to appropriate policy officials and issue a response.
There has been a battle for the top spot of MT. Dew beverages. It has been going on for the past three months. The country has been engaged in a passionate election that has changed the course of history forever: DEWcision 2016. Members of DEW Nation have cast their votes for either MTN DEW BAJA BLAST or MTN DEW PITCH BLACK, two specialty flavors that developed cult followings over the years, and after months of voting and wild online challenges, the results are now in. With more than 2.9 million votes, PITCH BLACK has edged out BAJA BLAST by less than a half of a percent of the total 5,789,284 million votes. PITCH BLACK has won the election. And PITCH BLACK will become a permanent member of the MTN DEW retail lineup, making its debut on shelves this September.
“Over the course of DEWcision 2016, you, the members of the DEW Nation, pulled out all of the stops to show your passion for these two flavors,” said Ryan Collis, senior director of marketing, Mountain Dew. “You dyed your hair. You built towers. You conquered mountains. Although there could only be one victor, you showed us that neither flavor was going to go out without a fight. And that’s the relentless, unyielding, no-holds-barred spirit that DEW Nation stands for.”
The stars from the entertainment world and sports world were out in full force earlier this week. Mercedes-Benz and Variety Magazine brought them all together for a star studded night. Variety’s Sports Entertainment Summit showcased some of the most noteworthy voices in sports and media in Los Angeles for a full-day of discussions about the state of the industry. The event included keynote speeches from Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade, as well as appearances from Jamie Foxx, Hannah Storm, and many more.
As a presenting sponsor, Mercedes-Benz displayed a new 2017 S-Class Cabriolet outside the Vibiana in Los Angeles for athletes and celebrities to check out upon arrival.
Never shy of innovation the Jack Daniel Distillery is always looking for the next best thing. Recently they partnered with FCB/RED and The Mill to create a fully immersive 360-degree virtual reality experience that artfully displays the timeless craftsmanship of America’s first registered distillery.
This new technology transports fans of Jack Daniel’s to sensory rich locations on the hallowed grounds of the distillery. From the blazing inferno being stoked at the rick yard, where sugar maple ricks are burnt down for use in the whiskey’s charcoal mellowing process to flying over the rolling hills of Lynchburg to the top of the barrel house with Master Distiller Jeff Arnett, this new technology provides a vital tool to give consumers a better perspective of the craft that goes into making Jack Daniel’s.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Jack Daniel Distillery, America’s oldest registered distillery. “We all have our anniversaries. They allow us to honor the important events in our lives and to ensure the lessons of the past are not forgotten,” says Jeff Arnett, Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller. “This new technology is a way for us to celebrate the Jack Daniel Distillery with fans everywhere and bring them closer to Lynchburg. The 360 degree video experience will allow Jack Daniel’s consumers a chance to “visit” the rick yard, see the cave spring hollow and feel as though they are right there in Lynchburg where each batch of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey is crafted, and has been for 150 years.”
Co-directed by The Mill’s Bowe King and Rama Allen, the VR component was produced to digitally manifest one of Jack Daniel’s favorite phrases turned distillery mantra: ‘Every day we make it, we’ll make it the best we can.’ Today friends of the Jack Daniel’s family of brands can experience the VR component via YouTube 360 and Facebook 360 versions. The Gear VR Goggles will be available for consumers at special Jack Daniel’s events and activations this summer including Lollapalooza, Life is Beautiful, Chicago Open Air and numerous other venues world-wide.
The visual style of ‘mixed time’ was developed for the content where moments slow down and time seems to stands still. The highly stylized, cinematic visuals combine with ambient surround sound. This style of film borrows from the visual language of cinemographs, allowing viewers to linger in moments of mixed time. Combining real-time and frozen elements in one shot, the mixed time film technique was developed by The Mill specifically for the Jack Daniels VR Experience.
To learn more about Jack Daniel’s and the new 360 degree experience, follow @jackdaniels_us or visitwww.jackdaniels.com for more information.
For those who might have not noticed eSports is becoming an integral part of gaming culture. So with that notion Mountain Dew is making waves by announcing the Mountain Dew League otherwise known as MDL. The league is designed with one purpose in mind: helping amateur gamers become pros. DEW and the ESL, the world’s largest esports company, are both instigators in the gaming world, and are now partnering to host a massive three-phase competition for amateur gamers.
The MDL global championship will culminate in one amateur team joining next season’s ESL Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Pro League. The tournament will start in August, and will unfold over the course of 20 weeks beginning with 7,400 players, down to nine teams in each region, down to the final team. Fans will be able to watch the competition unfold through live-streamed events, behind-the-scenes action and real-time stat tracking via the ESL and Twitch channels.
One of the hottest selling kicks came from Reebok and Kendrick Lamar earlier this summer. Now Reebok Classic and multi-platinum selling, Top Dawg Entertainment artist Kendrick Lamar return with the new Classic Leather “Perfect Split” pack. The collection will comprise of Men’s and Women’s styles, launching on Friday, July 15, 2016.
The Classic Leather “Perfect Split” pack brings the split sides of Kendrick’s personality to life, as the silhouettes’ understated white and stone base is updated with contrasting color-blocked accents, alongside a ‘split’ rubber outsole combining retro GUM with contemporary ICE.
Globally acclaimed director Nabil photographed Kendrick in a complementing campaign entirely on vintage camera equipment. The series of raw and candid portraits capture Kendrick in a range of poses, which also reflect the different sides to his personality.
The Classic Leather “Perfect Split” will be available for $74.99 at retailers including Reebok.com, Champs and Footaction, starting Friday, July 15, 2016.
Reebok had one of the hottest selling sneakers this summer with their team up with Kendrick Lamar. Now Reebok is adding another artist into the mix.
Reebok is expanding the brand’s network of global talent with the appointment of international style pioneer and music artist, Future. Future has joined Reebok’s like-minded collective of innovative and inspirational creators. The American hip-hop superstar hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, is a true creative visionary. Known for his pioneering unique sound within the music space mixed with his trend-setting style, Future continues to innovate both in and outside of the music industry.
Future launched the partnership on Saturday,July 9, 2016, on his Snapchat (@Future) and Instagram channels (@Future) where he touched on the synergies between both parties while unveiling the InstaPump Fury “Overbranded,” launching Fall 2016. The InstaPump Fury marks one of Reebok’s most iconic innovations in the sneaker industry from the 90’s, a fitting pairing to the brand’s new partner, a trailblazer in his own right.
“Future exudes the type of fearlessness and authenticity that Reebok Classic stands for,” said Todd Krinsky, Global Vice President of Reebok Classic and Entertainment. “This partnership not only continues our brand’s longstanding legacy of working with the world’s best hip hop artists, but also solidifies Reebok Classic’s commitment to never back down from pushing boundaries. I’ve had a preview of what’s to come from Future and Reebok and I can’t wait for everyone to see!”
Commenting on the partnership Future said, “I’m excited to kick off the summer with Reebok by my side. It’s a natural fit for me to work with a brand like Reebok that also shares my beliefs in moving culture forward and being passionate in what you believe in. Not only am I honored, but I feel privileged to be a part of the family.”
The announcement marks the beginning of a significant creative relationship between Reebok Classic and Future, with more to come in 2016 and beyond. Next up, Future will kick off his highly anticipated Summer Sixteen tour starting July 20th where fans can expect to see a Reebok presence at each stop.
Crown Royal is known for their great work for the Your Hero’s Name Here Program. This week they announced the winner of this year’s program. In just a few short weeks, racing fans from across the country will flock to Indianapolis for one of NASCAR’s biggest events of the summer. And despite being named the winner of the annual Crown Royal “Your Hero’s Name Here” program, which renames the Brickyard 400 after a deserving hero, retired U.S. Navy SEAL Jason Redman’s name won’t be displayed around the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway – for good reason.
Redman instead asked that the race bear the name of the charity he and his wife, Erica, founded. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race will officially be referred to as the Crown Royal presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard.
Today, during a special surprise event in Suffolk, Va., Redman was announced the winner of the annual program while completing his one hundredth skydiving jump. Redman witnessed the reveal of the official race logo, painted in the landing area at Skydive Suffolk, from mid-air as he approached the ground.
After the logo unveiling, Redman was greeted by Erica, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles, and Crown Royal Associate Brand Manager Dany Penn. Redman was then escorted to a nearby hangar for a party where he was able to celebrate the announcement with his closest friends, colleagues and family.
“What an amazing and humbling opportunity to have my organization as the official title of the Brickyard 400. This race is an icon of NASCAR, Americanism and patriotism,” said Redman after being named the winner of the 2016 “Your Hero’s Name Here” program. “I can’t wait to arrive in Indianapolis and meet the fellow finalists, the awesome race fans, drivers and crews!”
Redman, of Chesapeake, Va., enlisted in the Navy following high school and served 11 years as an enlisted SEAL before enrolling at Old Dominion University. After graduation, Redman was commissioned as a Naval SEAL Officer and served ten more years. Throughout his career he served five deployments including two combat deployments.
In 2007, Redman’s Assault Team came under heavy machine gun fire and he was wounded with shots to the face and left arm. While recovering from his 37 surgeries at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, Redman wrote and hung a sign on his door which became a statement and symbol for wounded warriors everywhere. The original sign on the door now hangs in the Wounded Ward at the National Naval Medical Center Bethesda. Redman was honored with the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medals and two Combat Action Ribbons.
Following his recovery, Redman founded the non-profit organizations Combat Wounded Coalition and Wounded Wear to help combat wounded warriors overcome the wounds of war. The Combat Wounded Coalition provides free clothing, clothing modifications, and connections to other vetted service organizations for combat wounded warrior needs. To date, the Combat Wounded Coalition has helped over 500 wounded warriors return to daily life after serving.
This will mark the tenth time Crown Royal has renamed a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, and the first time a race will be named after a charity, through the whisky brand’s “Your Hero’s Name Here” program. After receiving hundreds of entries during the nomination period, five heroes were chosen as finalists and adult fans had the opportunity to cast their votes for the person they felt was most deserving of the honor.