Mercedes-Benz USA teams up with ESPN in brand campaign to launch docuseries Sprinter Labs

  • Mercedes-Benz USA is launching a new brand campaign for their Sprinter vans in form of the docuseries "Sprinter Labs"
  • ESPN is the first to collaborate with Mercedes-Benz USA on Sprinter Labs: the coming-to-life of their new mobile podcast studio for college football weekends will be featured in season 1
  • Each Sprinter Labs season will feature short video episodes showcasing unique, upfitting solutions in collaboration with other premier brand partners
  • First episode of Sprinter Labs will air September 7th, 2023 on all digital and social channels from Mercedes-Benz Vans

The Mercedes-Benz USA Vans Marketing department is taking an exciting new direction towards digital entertainment and brand collaboration with their new docu-series "Sprinter Labs". Each season, Mercedes-Benz USA will partner with one of the world's premier brands and a certified Mercedes-Benz eXpert Upfitter to turn a blank canvas Sprinter into a customized one-of-a-kind dream machine. Multiple short video episodes will introduce the seasons' brand partnership and follow the build process from start to finish.

ESPN, the industry-leading sports network, was the first to collaborate with Sprinter Labs. The network's media team dreamed up the vision to take their production studio on the road to connect with college football fans around the country. Mercedes-Benz USA, together with Matthews Specialty Vehicles drove the dream to reality by turning a 170'' wheel-base, all-wheel-drive cargo Sprinter van into a mobile podcast studio and college football tailgating machine. Four short episodes follow the entire customization process featuring ESPN college football host/reporter Jen Lada, Mercedes-Benz Vans Director of Product Management and Marketing, Iain Forsyth and the charismatic host, Faruq Tauheed.

 "One van, endless vision: Every Sprinter that rolls off the line is engineered and equipped for maximum purpose. But the true magic happens when it's configured, as each new owner designs creative ways to unlock the van's true potential. And that's where Sprinter Labs comes in. We wanted to showcase the various potentials for upfits, the detailed process that goes into the build outs and most of all the personality and character that's behind these customized vans."
Iain Forsyth – Director, Product Management and Marketing, Vans

ESPN brought their own vision to the table: while the technical and functional details for the podcast studio were the main focus, the opportunity for fan engagement features were equally as important to the team. Mercedes-Benz USA selected Matthews Specialty Vehicles to develop a van that would exceed their expectations: A high-end sound system with microphones, Wi-Fi equipment for broadcasting, acoustical paneling, swivel interview seating, LED interior lightening, a smart screen and a high-end camera system deliver "The best or nothing" mobile podcast studio that enables ESPN to to create content from any college campus during football season. A branded wrap, exterior TV screens and sound systems, a sports ticker, underbody lighting, an awning along with a high-end grill and refrigerator as well as an integrated canteen system are on-board for fan engagement and guaranteed fun on the road. To top it off, a solar powered charging station ensures maximum efficiency.

Since its introduction, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has been the pioneer in its vehicle class and has repeatedly set new standards – especially in terms of safety, ergonomics, efficiency, and comfort. It continues to raise the bar within the commercial vehicle segment, offering a streamlined packaging structure and improved features to fit a variety of customers – from everyday drivers, parcel delivery, construction workers, various upfit customers and everyone in-between. From medical vehicles to bookmobiles to mobile hair salons to luxurious camper mobiles, Sprinter vans deliver a solid base for every customized build imaginable.

The first episode of Sprinter Labs featuring ESPN will premiere on September 7th and can be followed on the Mercedes-Benz Vans Website and their YouTube Page. In addition to social content on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, X and LinkedIn, the campaign will run throughout the college football season with experiential activities when Sprinter Labs comes to town, as well as podcasts featuring special guests from the game. Season 2 of Sprinter Labs is already in progress.

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About Merkley+Partners
Merkley+Partners is a full-service advertising agency. As Mercedes-Benz's Integrated Agency of Record, Merkley+Partners is helping to bring a new approach to the luxury automaker and pushing the brand beyond the traditional commercial vehicle category. More information can be found at Merkley+Partners.

About Matthews Specialty Vehicles
Matthews Specialty Vehicles has been building and customizing vehicle upfits for more than 30 years. They are one of Mercedes-Benz qualified eXpert Upfitter working with the highest standards and Upfitting Guidelines. More information can be found at Matthews Specialty Vehicles.

About Mercedes Benz
Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Atlanta, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz products in the United States. MBUSA offers drivers the most diverse lineup in the luxury segment with 18 model lines ranging from the sporty GLA SUV to the flagship S-Class and the dynamic all-electric Mercedes-EQ family. MBUSA is also responsible for Mercedes-Benz vans in the U.S. More information on MBUSA and its products can be found at and