Could a new sponsorship push be in the works for Saab Cars North America, Inc.?

In what appears to be the brand’s first U.S. deal since Saab Automobile AB was acquired from General Motors Co. in February by Netherlands-based Spyker Cars N.V., Saab has come on board as a sponsor of Chronicles of the Cursed: The Sinkhole, which is billed as “Chicago’s premier haunted house experience.”

The sponsorship supports the four-month-old “Change Perspective” integrated marketing campaign that plays up Saab’s return to its northern European roots.

The campaign, which includes TV, radio, print and online ads—and features the tagline “Move Your Mind”—is designed to raise interest and awareness of the four new vehicles Saab is introducing in the U.S. between July 2010 and June 2011, including the redesigned Saab 9-5.

“The Move Your Mind campaign concept fits perfectly with the Saab audience,” said Parveen Batish, Saab Cars North America’s executive marketing director, in a statement. “Our customers want the quality and performance that come with a premium brand, but they don’t want the pretense associated with some of the established premium brands.”

Saab also is promoting the Change Perspective campaign at

The Chronicles of the Cursed sponsorship came as part of a bundled media buy with the event’s radio station partner WXRT-FM—according to Annie Abrams, events and sponsorship specialist for the attraction’s owner/producer Tribune Events Group, a unit of media giant Tribune Co. Even so, the tie demonstrates at least some interest by the company in a one-on-one marketing platform.

As part of its deal, Saab also received print ads in the Tribune-owned free dailies RedEye and Spanish-language Hoy Chicago, and inclusion in direct mail and online promotions for the October 8-31 attraction. On site, Saab has a car on display and product specialists to interact with visitors.

Saab Cars North America is expected to ramp up marketing, advertising and promotion in the coming months as its new models hit dealerships, including the May 2011 debut of the midsized 9-4x crossover.

Spyker reportedly plans to boost U.S. sales of Saab vehicles to 120,000 per year, up from 40,000 last year.

Prior to its spinoff, Saab North America focused sponsorship activity on pro cycling as a platform to reach affluent consumers.

The company signed a handful of new deals in 2008, including Team Slipstream and the Skyscraper Harlem Cycling Classic in New York City. The brand dropped the ties after GM filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection the following year.