Expect to see Simon Cowell driving up to The X Factor auditions in an Odyssey minivan instead of his traditional gigantic black Over-Compensating Vehicle, now that Honda has signed on to replace Chevrolet as official automotive sponsor of his Fox singing competition. In this morning’s announcement, Fox, Cowell’s Syco Entertainment, and FreemantleMedia North America said Honda had signed on to the show in order to help launch the redesigned 2014 Odyssey minivan. The campaign will feature three in-show integrations — think X-ettes driving around in a minivan while singing tunes — digital voting sponsorship, and off-air rights. Honda also gets “ownership” of the franchise’s so-called Fan Rewards — incentives to fans for clicking and interacting their way through The X Factor digital landscape with points, to use for show and Honda merchandise.
When X Factor was unveiled in this country in the fall of 2011, Chevrolet had signed on as the official automotive sponsor, and there was much media navel-gazing about Chevy vs Ford — the official automotive sponsor of Fox’s other singing competition, American Idol. Ford has stuck with Idol. Featuring its new auto sponsor, new judges Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio joining Cowell and Demi Lovato, and surviving host Mario Lopez, X Factor will launch with a two-night season premiere event on Wednesday, September 11, and Thursday, September 12.