Automobile manufacturers are increasingly launching car share services, and nearly every company is using sponsorship to promote their new car share brand.

General Motors and BMW both launched car share services in 2016 (Maven and ReachNow, respectively), while Daimler AG launched its car2go service in the U.S. in 2010.

And other companies are entering the car share space, with each offering their own take on on-demand mobility.

Ford in 2016 acquired Chariot, a San Francisco-based company that operates a crowdsourced shuttle service, while Cadillac this year launched BOOK by Cadillac, a subscription-based on-demand concierge service.

The companies—many of which operate as start-ups within their parent companies—use sponsorship to build visibility, eduate consumers and gain new members.

“Carsharing is a new concept in the U.S. and Canada, so much of the work we do is to genrate awareness for what one-way carsharing is, why it can help people save money, get around easiliy and improve overall quality of life in densley populated cities,” said Michael Silverman, car2go North American communications director.

Car share companies focus on music festivals, food truck fests, curated flea markets and other properites that draw urban-centric Millennials.

Case in point: Millennials represent nearly 80 percent of Maven reservations.

“As a start-up within GM, Maven is building on GM’s core competencies and helping develop a new customer base—Millennials—as customers for life,” said Kristen Alexander, Maven marketing director.

Maven has sponsored more than 20 events this year, with a focus on music festivals. Those include Boston Calling, Detroit MoPop, Mamby on the Beach (Chicago) and Electric Zoo, Full Moon and Elements in New York City.

“Our urban Millennial consumers are in search of Instagram-worthy experiences and Maven is an enabler to help them be part of those moments. Music is one of the core categories we know our audience is passionate about and we’ve worked to align with these interest areas as an authentic point of engagement.”

Maven also sponsors food festivals, craft fairs and other events where Millennials congregate. Those include the Taste of 3 Cities food truck festival in Baltimore, Famous Food Festival In New York City and Renegade Craft Fairs in Detroit and San Francisco.

Maven’s onsite presence varies from event to event. That includes a 30-by-20 pop-up lounge at major events where consumers can learn about Maven, download the Maven app and sign up to become a member, and a 10-by-10 tent experience that allows the company to activate in muliple cities at once.

Upcoming Maven sponsorships include the Truckeroo food festival in Washington, D.C., Camp Flog Gnaw in Los Angeles and the Downtown LA Film Festival.

Maven currently operates in 17 cities including Ann Arbor, Mich.; Baltimore; Boston; Chicago; Denver; Detroit; Orlando, Fla.; and Washington, D.C.

Car2Go Focuses On Music Fests, Food Fests And Influencers
Car2go sponsorships include the BRIC! Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, Seattle Food Festival and the Osheaga music festival in Montreal. The company activates the events with membership and credit promotions, ticket sweepstakes and access to desirable parking locations (Drop Zones).

Car2go also uses influencers to spread the word about its service.

The company in January partnered with Unbox Therapy to promote the launch of Mercedes-Benz vehicles into its car fleet in the U.S. and Canada. The video, which was supported with a vehicle giveaway to amplify engagement, drive comments and encourage sharing, was viewed by more than 1.1 million people.

Car2go also partnered with Motoki Maxted on a video for the social influencer’s Facebook page. The video has been view more than 3.5 million times since its launch earlier this year.