The two-time Grammy winner gives back to his home town

Country music superstar Chris Stapleton and Ram Trucks have expanded their partnership in an effort to help promote volunteerism and hometown pride, among other honorable values this past week.

Stapleton, with the help of Ram Nation, a volunteer group of Ram Truck owners, put together an outdoor stage at Stapleton’s hometown high school. The two-time Grammy winner then performed two free concerts and announced the donation of $57,000 worth of new band instruments for the school. His return to Paintsville, Kentucky is documented in Ram’s “Built Here” video above.

Chris Stapleton is becoming a household name thanks to his latest album “Traveller” and the slew of awards it brought the Kentucky native. Even before his debut album, Stapleton wrote for several well-known country singers, including Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, and Tim McGraw. For those not familiar with country music, Stapleton’s work extends outside Nashville, having penned, “if It Hadn’t Been Love” for Adele.

The instruments were donated by ACM Lifting Lives, the charitable arm of the Academy of Country Music via its partnership with the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. Ram Trucks then sponsored the Paintsville activities as part of an ongoing relationship with Stapleton that began in 2015.

“While the story of Chris Stapleton may not be widely known, it’s one of pride, dedication, and perseverance – all values important to our Ram truck owners,” said Marissa Hunter, Director of Brand Advertising, FCA US. "It was a great opportunity and honor for us to go back to Paintsville with Chris to document his return to the place that built his character and work ethic.”

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

Ram Trucks and its grassroots volunteer group Ram Nation, formed in 2015, have been instrumental in several projects around the U.S. Made up of Ram truck owners, the volunteers have cleaned up after natural disasters, aided those in need, and performed community service initiatives. The work at Johnson Central High School is only the latest example of like-minded Ram owners coming together to meet a need.

All the marketing hype aside, the Ram Nation’s efforts are honorable. Sure, the group might be tied to a for-profit brand, but the volunteers who give of their time and talents make a difference in communities across the country. I’d bet Ford and Chevrolet aren’t far behind with creating similar volunteer groups set on helping those in need through volunteerism and community-led projects.

Press Release

The Ram Truck brand has released a new 60-second television ad and long-form video as part of an expanded relationship with two-time Grammy Award-winning country music artist Chris Stapleton. The announcement comes days after Stapleton, one of the hottest artists in country music today, picked up six additional honors during Sunday night’s 51st annual Academy of Country Music Awards (ACM) telecast.

The “Built Here” television spot, which debuted on the April 3 ACM Awards program, and video document Stapleton’s return last month to his former Paintsville, Ky., high school, a trip highlighted by the surprise delivery of $57,000 of new band instruments, two free performances and the unveiling of an outdoor stage constructed by nearly a dozen Ram Nation volunteers, members of a grassroots team of Ram truck owners who help out in their communities. The instruments were donated by ACM Lifting Lives (the charitable arm of ACM) via its partnership with the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.

The Ram Truck brand sponsored the Paintsville activities as part of an ongoing relationship with Stapleton that began in 2015 with a series of episodic videos in conjunction with the debut of his “Traveller” album. The videos documenting the two-day return to Johnson Central High School and Traveller webisodes can be seen at www.ramtrucks.com/ramlife. The Traveller video series tells the stories of Stapleton, who is a Ram truck owner himself, and other owners’ experiences traveling with their trucks. Ram and its partner agency, G7 Entertainment Marketing, created all of the elements and activities that were part of Stapleton’s return to Paintsville.

“While the story of Chris Stapleton may not be widely known, it’s one of pride, dedication and perseverance, all values important to our Ram truck owners,” said Marissa Hunter, Director of Brand Advertising, FCA US. "It was a great opportunity and honor for us to go back to Paintsville with Chris to document his return to the place that built his character and work ethic. In addition to the spot that aired during Sunday’s ACM Awards show, the videos Ram created from this experience will show millions of people the very special town and moments that made Chris the man he is today.”

Tapping into the natural instinct of truck owners to lend a helping hand to family, friends and neighbors when a need arises – just as Ram Nation volunteers and Stapleton did in Paintsville – Ram is asking its owners to share their own stories of what they do in their communities on Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtag #HaulItForward.

Set to the music of his hit “Traveller” song, both the “Built Here” TV spot and video follow Stapleton as he drives around his hometown in his personal Ram 2500 truck. Stapleton talks about Paintsville, Ky., as being a place that builds character, a place where strength lives. “This is home. This is where I come from,” he says. The videos were created in partnership with the Dallas-based agency, The Richards Group, and were directed by Danny Clinch, one of the premier photographers and documentarians of the American music scene. Clinch’s style brought a heartfelt approach to the videos, making the story as authentic as the artist himself.

Ram Truck launched “Ram Nation” in 2015 as a means of bringing together its owners and dealers for disaster relief and community service initiatives. Since its formation, the grassroots volunteer corps of like-minded people have come together in different U.S. cities for initiatives ranging from helping with flood and tornado relief efforts to delivering food and supplies, to building structures like the Johnson Central High School outdoor theater. Truck owners interested in answering future calls to help, whether its mobilizing volunteers to assist in disaster relief efforts or proactive community outreach initiatives, can sign up for Ram Nation at ramtrucks.com/ramnation.

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