Millennials are playing a key role in Honda’s sponsorship strategy.

Looking to engage twenty-somethings, the automaker has doubled down on sponsorships that provide digital engagement and social media reach, with music and motorsports playing a central role.

On the motorsports front, Honda this year partnered with Red Bull Global Rallycross and the Olsbergs MSE race team on behalf of the 2016 Honda Civic Coupe. Honda next month will extend the partnership via presenting status of the Oct. 8-9 Global Rallycross season finale in San Pedro, Calif.

In music, Honda is wrapping up its third year with the Honda Stage, a digital marketing platform centered around live performances and other curated content. Honda accesses the content via partnerships with iHeartRadio, Live Nation and other content providers.

Honda posts the content on a dedicated YouTube channel, web site ( and other digital platforms.

The Honda Stage builds on the automaker’s long-running sponsorship of the Honda Civic Tour, a platform the company owns.

“We, like many companies, want to find the most effective way to reach millennials. We have a long history of investing in music, and we saw the Honda Stage as a way to curate our own music content and use a video platform to get our message out,” said Tom Peyton, American Honda Motor Co. assistant vice president of marketing operations.

The Honda Stage has been a success. The program reached its first year goal of 100 million views, 2 billion impressions and 4.4 million social media engagements.

“The results were what we hoped for,” said Peyton, noting that Honda has reduced its advertising spend on traditional media based on the success of the program.  

Honda in 2015 broadened the Honda Stage’s content offering with Uncharted: Power of Dreams, an original content series that highlights up-and-coming artists. Honda developed the video series in conjunction with Woven Digital, a millennial-focused digital media company. Woven also distributes the videos through, a millennial-focused news and entertainment hub.

The content helps broaden the Honda Stage’s already extensive reach via an emotional connection with fans of emerging artists, said Peyton.

“Up and coming artists have different stories and emotional touchpoints than established artists like Ariana Grande. People appreciate the music of new artists and their musical journeys.”

Expands NHL And Disney Partnerships
Honda this week will expand its eight-year-old NHL partnership via sponsorship of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The tournament kicks off this Saturday and runs through Oct. 1.

“We continue to like the NHL. It’s a great target market for us—hockey fans index well for Honda—and the NHL has done a great job innovating their brand and changing things up.”

Honda has used the partnership to promote different vehicles, with the Ridgeline sport utility truck taking center ice in 2016.

In April, Honda expanded its nearly ten-year-old Disney relationship with sponsorship of the Autopia attraction at Disneyland Park. The ride features updated Honda-themed cars powered by Honda engines.

Honda’s other major sponsorships include the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.; Honda Classic PGA Tour Tournament and Little League Baseball—a platform the company uses to support its corporate philosophy of the “Power of Dreams.”