Pat Logue, director of marketing for Dunn Tire, was recently interviewed for an article appearing in Tire Review: Sports Marketing: Turn Sports Fans into Your Fanatics. The article discusses some of the marketing opportunities that sporting events can offer.
In a recent report, “Year in the Sports Media Report: 2013,” Nielsen claims that more than 33 billion hours of national sports programming were consumed by 255 million people, up 27% from the 26 billion hours consumed in 2003. Consumers spend tons of time watching sports and engaging in activities surrounding those sports. That’s a lot of potential customers to reach either regionally or nationally.
While major tire manufactures are prominently sponsoring national events, sports marketing isn’t just for the tire companies; savvy tire dealers get in on the action, as well.
Buffalo-based Dunn Tire has taken full advantage of CTA’s sports investment. The Continental brand, as the official tire of the Watkins Glen International racetrack as well as the official tire of IMSA, approached Dunn Tire with an opportunity to sponsor a Michael Shank Racing car.
Michael Shank Racing branded its car with Dunn Tire logos and visited multiple Dunn Tire locations prior to the Watkins Glen IMSA event. At the race itself, Dunn Tire used its Facebook page to invite people to come take picture with the car and visit Dunn Tire at a hospitality area. Its wholesale business, Express Tire, also took advantage, inviting dealer customers to the event.
“Having a Dunn Tire car with our name on it actually racing certainly helps our overall awareness,” says Pat Logue, director of marketing for Dunn Tire. “It also gave us the opportunity to entertain both customers of the retail organization as well as customers of the wholesale organization.”
Dunn Tire also sponsors the hometown NFL Buffalo Bills, NHL Buffalo Sabres, Syracuse University and the University of Buffalo.
“When you can tie Dunn Tire to the Buffalo Bills or the Sabres or Watkins Glen, that helps your overall profile because those are great brands in and of themselves,” adds Logue.
For Dunn Tire, treating sports sponsorships as a business relationship is key. The majority of the tire business’ sports sponsorships are collaborations with tire manufacturers.
“We start a proposal with our reps well in advance of the season,” relates Logue. “It’s important to realize that the manufacturers have their priorities too as far as where they want to spend their money. It’s a lot of dialogue with your rep.”
From there, continuing the partnership is key. Logue meets with his reps every year to discuss what the manufacturer liked, didn’t like and what makes sense for the next year.
“It’s got to work for both of us. You’ll never renew it if it only works out for one of us,” adds Logue.
One example of a program that worked for both Dunn Tire and Michelin North America Inc. was a co-branded hat that Dunn Tire gave away at the Bills’ home games. Fans who received the hat could bring it into a Dunn Tire store to receive a discount on a set of Michelin tires.
When implemented successfully, regional sports marketing can be a great vehicle to increase exposure, generate awareness, engage new audiences, and ultimately drive new businesses to the stores.Top