As IEG SR reported it would, Chrysler Group LLC has sought out new partnerships that align with its Dodge brand’s positioning as “agile, daring, sensible and inventive,” beginning with a two-year deal with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series.

The tie is Dodge’s first affiliation with running and represents the first spending for the brand outside of rodeos and NASCAR in several years. While Dodge is continuing its motorsports involvement, Chrysler now sponsors rodeos on behalf of Ram trucks, a brand it has spun off from Dodge.

Beyond running, Dodge is likely to partner with other property types this year, said Kelly Povailitis, manager of Dodge marketing, who spearheaded the marathon series sponsorship.

“As the Dodge brand begins to redefine itself and clearly identify its consumer, you will see it branching out into a variety of events moving forward,” she said.

Dodge will kick off the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series sponsorship on September 5 with title of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon presented by SunTrust. For the remainder of ’10, the brand gains official automotive partner and official vehicle status at events in Denver, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

Beginning next year, Dodge will become official automotive partner and official vehicle of the entire 14-stop series and add title deals with the circuit’s events in Los Angeles; San Diego; San Jose, Calif.; and Seattle.

Dodge replaces Nissan North America, Inc. as the running series’ official vehicle.

The maker of such models as Avenger, Challenger, Grand Caravan and Journey will activate the sponsorship through an interactive mobile experience at each event’s health and fitness expo, as well as with integrated marketing and social media campaigns. Dodge also receives presence on the series’ Web site.

The Dodge brand marketing team will brainstorm activation ideas at the June 6 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & ½ Marathon, said Scott Dickey, president of Competitor Group Inc., which owns the series.