M-Class Launch

Cotter Group's Mercedes-Benz M-Class Launch Covers New Ground HARRISBURG, N.C. (Sept. 14, 1999) -- "It's the fastest sport utility vehicle in the world and it climbs mountains, too," Cotter Group founder Tom Cotter said of the 2000 ML55 AMG,...

Cotter Group's Mercedes-Benz M-Class Launch Covers New Ground

HARRISBURG, N.C. (Sept. 14, 1999) -- "It's the fastest sport utility vehicle in the world and it climbs mountains, too," Cotter Group founder Tom Cotter said of the 2000 ML55 AMG, the new 342-horsepower sports utility vehicle from Mercedes-Benz. "Introducing a 155-mile-per-hour SUV to more than a hundred national and international journalists was a very gratifying experience for our staff."

The 12-year-old sports marketing and communication agency managed the international rollout of the 2000 Mercedes-Benz M-Class line, which featured a two-week program with 120 national and international guests. Cotter Group's initial venture into the world of automotive press launches was anything but typical.

While helicopters shuttled participants in and out of the scenic North Carolina mountains, Cotter Group delivered the comprehensive Mercedes-Benz experience with everything from closed-session, high-speed driving at the 2.6-mile Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, S.C., to cruising the Blue Ridge Parkway in Mercedes comfort, slowing only for a little off-road testing at Banner's Christmas Tree Farm in Newland, N.C.

"The Cotter Group demonstrated unusually good instincts in planning this automotive press event and equally strong skills with on-site execution," said Fred Heiler, manager, public relations for Mercedes-Benz USA. "They balanced the needs of journalists, PR staff and company execs with equally impressive ease and were unflappable in the face of the unexpected."

Cotter Group's entry into automotive industry events stems from a relationship with the sports marketing arm of Mercedes-Benz USA that began in 1994. Cotter Group manages the publicity for Mercedes-powered entries in the CART FedEx Championship Series, Mercedes Super 9 ATP Tour events and the PGA Tour's Mercedes Championships.

"This was just our first event in the industry," Cotter said. "Response from both the client and the journalists was fantastic. We plan on going after more industry business to complement our racing services."

Opened in 1988 by two public relations professionals, Cotter Group has grown into a 70-plus person, full-service marketing communications agency, offering expertise in public relations, publicity, event management, mobile marketing, promotions, sponsorship coordination, creative services and publishing.

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Series Automotive
Drivers Tom Cotter