Every year the BMW faithful in the U.S. get together to celebrate their favorite marque and revel in everything BMW at an event known as Bimmerfest. They come from all across the country to show off their BMWs, check out other people’s BMWs, check out aftermarket BMW performance parts, and flog their cars in the track and autocross events. The two-day event is typically held in May at Autoclub Speedway in Fontana, California, and typically draws over 25,000 hardcore BMW owners and fans.
Organizing such a large event is expensive and Bimmerfest relies on a raft of sponsors to help underwrite the massive event. This year, in a brilliant marketing coup, storied Italian automaker Alfa Romeo sponsored the Bimmerfest 2019 autocross event.
Yes, you read that right – Alfa Romeo sponsored and hosted the Bimmerfest 2019 autocross circuit. And as if their mere presence on BMW sacred ground wasn’t audacious enough, they brought along several 505hp Quadrifoglio versions of their excellent Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV and some product specialists who encouraged Bimmerfest’s attendees to run them through the autocross circuit and compare them to their own German cars.
According to Alfa Romeo’s statistics, over 300 BMW fans waited in line for up to 30 minutes for their chance to try Alfa’s performance cars on the autocross circuit. From comments posted on BMW and Bimmerfest forums, Alfa Romeo surprised some of the German auto enthusiasts:
“I drove a Stelvio Quadrifoglio. WOW. Compared to my Porsche Cayenne S, it knocked it out of the park.”
“I think it’s really awesome that Alfa Romeo helped sponsor Bimmerfest. Where was BMW?”
Indeed, Alfa Romeo was the only automotive manufacturer sponsor at Bimmerfest 2019. Their clever guerrilla marketing campaign surprised the Bimmerfest attendees and exposed them to Alfa Romeo’s performance.
Delighted with the feedback they got from Bimmerfest attendees, Alfa Romeo quickly took to their social media channels to share their clever marketing ploy and the positive feedback they received from BMW owners and fans. And how could you not? Especially when you get footage of an attendee getting out of one of your cars after running the autocross circuit and exclaiming, “I have six BMWs and I’m actually kinda disappointed I didn’t go with Alfa.” Marketing gold.
“The event overall was a great fit for us given the built-in audience of BMW owners and fans who were very interested in the chance to drive Alfa Romeo products available to them at the event. The Giulia Quadrifoglio was incredibly popular,” said an anonymous Alfa Romeo spokesperson.
There must have been some red faces in Bavaria after getting the news.