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How Does Tire Makers’ Sports Marketing Influence Dealers’ Sales?

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How Does Tire Makers’ Sports Marketing Influence Dealers’ Sales?

Each month we ask members of our National Advisory Council (NAC) a question or questions on a current hot topic. Recently we asked, “Do you feel the money tire manufacturers spend on sponsoring professional sports teams is worth it? From baseball to soccer to basketball and football, the sports fans see tire makers’ names splashed in the stadiums. Does this translate into more tire sales for you? And do you sponsor local teams in your community? What benefits have you seen?” Here are some of their responses.

1. It’s not always easy to gauge the return on the investment with this type of marketing. One benefit that seems evident is the brand name placement. For instance, the brand behind home plate or on the table courtside of a basketball game will probably get more exposure for winning teams versus others. I see value when targeted to specific markets such as ultra-high performance tires in racing or all-terrain tires to specific off-road racing, etc.

2. I cannot say that I have ever had a customer come in and ask for tires because of the advertising at sports events, except for special ATV tires, and these were not at basketball or football games. I am sure the name at the big events does something, but I have not seen it. We sponsor the local youth teams, and have in some cases, three generations buying tires, and they do remember our store, but maybe not the brand of tire featured at the games.

3. Any advertising at sports venues is a plus. I feel this advertising helps with brand awareness. I sponsor local children’s sports. The parents appreciate the sponsorship and return the favor by buying tires.

4. Belonging to one of the Top 10 brands — particularly, among tire manufacturers — in and of itself generates interest. Personally, I don’t feel strongly that maintaining that brand presence among professional sports teams translates to more counter sales of tires. Our relationship with NASCAR may have a greater influence on our consumers’ buying decision-making process. We do sponsor, even coach, youth sports teams in our community. A local presence in your community as an engaged partner simply can’t be beat. Word-of-mouth on the field also generates interest in our service and sales at the counter.

5. I think tire makers feel it is very good for them, although I find it very difficult to put a direct correlation to our sales. I think it improves brand awareness.

What’s on your mind?

We also asked council members what was on their mind. Here are some responses.

I’m not a fan of price increases. Who is? Increases in raw material costs (read natural rubber) are being passed down to the dealer(s) from the manufacturer(s). After the first round of increases in January, there were rumblings of more increases to come. These increases will drive up both the cost to dealers and end prices to consumers. On the commercial tire front, given that many distributors/importers banked heavily on the truck tire tariff happening — I’m certain there is a “glut” of inexpensive imports waiting to be sold at very low margins and turned into cash. I’m fearful the commercial tire market will be extremely volatile this year for this very reason.

Tripp Lee, General Manager, Frasier Tire Service Inc., Sumter, S.C.

Help others and you will be helped in return.

Jeff Cohen, Co-owner, Traction Wholesale Center, Bensalem, Pa.

Comment from our website

Concerning the blog Editor Bob Ulrich wrote on ramsomware (see the cover article in our April issue), a reader commented:

The best practice is to have excellent network protection and to have your data backed up in several places, at least one of which is off site. That way, if you do get ransomware you can restore your data. I would never pay the ransom, as oftentimes the attackers will supply you with a fake key to retrieve your data — that is if they provide you with anything at all.

Ginny Russell, IT Manager, Stratham Tire Inc., Brentwood, N.H.

To read more Your Turn columns, see:

Online Tire Buyers Seen as Savvy Buyers or 'Bottom Feeders'

Dealers Hope New President Will be Good for Business

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