Exclusive: Winnebago Expands Specialty Vehicle Community Engagement Efforts

A photo of the Winnebago Vikings Table

Winnebago is launching new marketing partnership that will bring more of the OEM’s specialty vehicle experiences into local communities across the country.

Winnebago Industries announced the new agreement with experiential marketing agency STAR today, May 20, as a way of building on its public engagement efforts. The two companies had previously teamed up to create a mobile food truck and education center for the Minnesota Vikings in 2019, and they hope to work with other sports teams in the future.

Ashis Bhattacharya, vice president of strategic planning and development at Winnebago, said the coronavirus pandemic presents an interesting opportunity for sports teams to make use of alternative outreach programs such as the 2019 Viking’s Table.

“As we come out of COVID, for a while there may be some restrictions on sporting events, so far as fans going into stadiums,” Bhattacharya said. “This is a great opportunity for sporting teams to take their personalities on the road, and at the same time be doing meaningful work in their communities.”

The strategic partnership hopes to reach broader audiences “by utilizing the Commercial Shell on a Winnebago RV platform and STAR’s experiential marketing expertise to enhance how clients look at mobile marketing,” according to Winnebago. Essentially, STAR will help create branded interactive experiences, like the Vikings Table food truck, on the body of specialty Winnebago units.

“We look forward to working with STAR to bring more projects like the Vikings Table to other regions,” said Robert Kim, director of Winnebago Industries’ Specialty Vehicles Division. “The Winnebago commercial vehicle platforms are currently being used in many mobile applications, including mobile medical, dental, classrooms, bookmobiles, bloodmobiles and mammography.”

Bhattacharya said the company’s specialty vehicles can simply do a lot more than traditional RV models.

A photo of the Winnebago Vikings Table interior
Courtesy: Winnebago Industries

The specialty vehicles can be outfitted for a wide range of real-world uses, from a commercial-strength kitchen set up to a mobile healthcare site. Under the new partnership with STAR, Winnebago wants to provide unique RV models in specific areas that need them the most.

“All of these applications provide amazing services to the communities they serve, but there are many other communities without these services,” Kim said. “The partnership with STAR is going to help bring visibility to how sports teams can use mobile platforms to serve their communities.”

Dave Whorton, director of sports and entertainment partnerships at STAR, said the RV lifestyle meshes well with the excitement and influence of professional sports.

“STAR is pleased to partner with Winnebago Industries’ Specialty Vehicle Division to deliver experiential marketing innovation to sports teams across the country with community-immersive, mobile experiences,” Whorton said. “Our collective work will harness the influence of sports and drive unparalleled opportunity for activation, brand integration and the fan experience.”

The two companies hope to make the most out of the unprecedented coronavirus situation, bringing the best of what they both have to offer directly to communities in need. Bhattacharya said he is looking forward to help other groups like the Vikings build stronger relationships with their customers and fans.

“What I love about this business is that apart from the fact that it is a commercially very special business, it is also good business because most of our products help people in need,” Bhattacharya said.

Click here for more information about Winnebago Industries’ Specialty Vehicles.

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