Chrysler Group and the Iacocca Foundation Partner to Fund Diabetes Research
Lee Iacocca and Snoop Dogg are 'Golf Buddies' in new Chrysler Group commercial
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. and BOSTON, Aug. 5 -- Chrysler Group and the Iacocca Foundation announced today that the Chrysler Group has become an official partner of the Iacocca Foundation's ongoing initiatives to support diabetes research. Chrysler Group and the Iacocca Foundation are in the process of finalizing the details of the fundraising program.
As part of the partnership, Mr. Iacocca is appearing in four advertisements for the Chrysler Group. The fourth and final commercial, "Golf Buddies" which features Mr. Iacocca and hip-hop icon Snoop Dogg, will begin airing on August 6. The first three commercials, "Desk," "Channel Surfing," and "Granddaughter" are currently airing.
Research by Millward Brown, a third party ad testing agency, shows the campaign to be very effective. Hundreds of individuals ranging from 25 to 50+ years of age were polled to measure the commercials. Results of the testing showed that the commercials were at least two times as persuasive as an average commercial and 80 percent of the individuals polled recognized Lee Iacocca.
Mr. Iacocca donated his fees for the commercial to the Iacocca Foundation's JoinLeeNow initiative, which has raised nearly six million dollars to date for a planned clinical trial at Massachusetts General Hospital. The first phase of the clinical trial program will test a potential cure for type 1 diabetes. As of August 2005, the campaign had reached the halfway mark of its $11.5 million goal.
"I promised my late wife that I would help to find a cure for type 1 diabetes in my lifetime. I feel like we are finally close to stopping a disease that affects more than 18 million people in the United States, but I need help. We're halfway there and I know with Chrysler on board, we can't lose," said Lee Iacocca, Chairman of the Iacocca Foundation.
"Chrysler Group is honored to be the Iacocca Foundation's partner in this incredible cause. Mr. Iacocca made a promise to his wife and we have made a promise to him, to help him reach his goal," said Jason Vines, VP, Public Relations, Chrysler Group. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks the islet cells of the pancreas, which are the cells in the body that produce insulin. Dr. David Nathan and Dr. Denise Faustman are planning to test a treatment to stop the destruction by the immune system of the insulin- producing cells. Dr. Faustman and other researchers have demonstrated in the lab that once the destruction of the insulin-producing cells is reversed, the body appears to be capable of regenerating these cells. The treatment that will be tested in humans is based on research by Dr. Faustman that has been almost exclusively sponsored by the Iacocca Foundation. This research has significant implications not only to the future of diabetes treatment, but also to other autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and lupus.
For more information about the Iacocca Foundation and diabetes, or to make a donation, go to http://www.joinleenow.org/ .
About Lee Iacocca
Lee Iacocca was the Chief Executive Officer of Chrysler from 1978 to 1992. Prior to Chrysler, Mr. Iacocca spent 30 years at the Ford Motor Company and was President when he left in 1978. Among other accomplishments, Mr. Iacocca is credited with creating the Ford Mustang and the Dodge Minivan, as well as saving Chrysler from bankruptcy. His autobiography, Iacocca (1984), and a second book, Talking Straight (1988), were bestsellers. He dedicated all of the proceeds from his books to the Iacocca Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that promotes diabetes research. In the early 1980s, at the request of President Reagan, Mr. Iacocca spearheaded the campaign to refurbish the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, which raised more than $500 million. Mr. Iacocca is a graduate of Lehigh University and Princeton University.
About the Iacocca Foundation
With the proceeds of his best-selling autobiography, Lee A. Iacocca established the Iacocca Foundation in 1984 in honor of his late wife, Mary K. Iacocca, who died from complications of type 1 diabetes. Since 1984, the Iacocca Foundation has given more than $20 million to diabetes research. More information is available at http://www.iacoccafoundation.org/ .
About the Chrysler Group
The Chrysler Group, headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., is a unit of DaimlerChrysler AG, the world's fifth largest automaker. Its brands, including Chrysler, Jeep(R) and Dodge, feature some of the most recognizable vehicles like the Chrysler 300, Jeep Liberty, and Dodge Magnum. In 2004, the Chrysler Group sold 2.7 million vehicles worldwide. The DaimlerChrysler Corporation Fund, the Company's philanthropic arm, gave more than $23.7 million in grants last year.