Kid Rock is out. Luke Bryan is in. Chevrolet has signed a deal with the country music star to be its brand ambassador for the next three years. Bryan replaces Rock, whose relationship with the Detroit automaker effectively ended last year.
Chevy said Bryan will work on a "variety of projects" and will promote the company using his social media channels (Twitter: 7 million, Facebook: 8.6 million). Chevy will also sponsor Bryan’s 8th Annual Farm Tour.
Chevy called the partnership a "natural fit" for the company as it looks to attract more country fans. "Our customers love country music, and Chevy has always held a special place within the genre," said Paul Edwards, Chevrolet U.S. vice president of marketing.
Bryan said his family has been all about Chevy as long as he can remember. "If you were a Bryan, you drove a Chevy," he said. "I am so excited about this partnership and I'm honored to be representing such a wonderful brand."
In a statement first picked up Automotive News, the brand said it had "enjoyed its relationship" with Rock, which included collaborating on a customized Silverado and sponsoring his 2015 summer tour. "While our business arrangement concluded at the end of 2015, our relationship remains amicable," the company said.
The automaker was forced to defend the relationship last summer over criticism regarding Rock’s use of the Confederate battle flag during previous tours. "The only flag on stage during the Chevy-sponsored summer concert tour is the American flag, and to our knowledge, Kid Rock has not used the Confederate flag on stage for several years," a spokesperson said at the time.