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Sports marketing: Tire Pros and the LA Galaxy

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Tire Pros, the retail franchise division of American Tire Distributors Inc., is the official tire retailer of the two-time defending Major League Soccer (MLS) champion LA Galaxy for the 2013 season.

The sponsorship -- the first by Tire Pros of a major league sports team -- allows 19 of its Southern Californian franchise stores to build brand awareness and engage with fans at games and team-sponsored community events. Tire Pros and the LA Galaxy kicked off their relationship at the COPA LA Youth Soccer Tournament earlier this year over Memorial Day weekend.

The sponsorship was enabled by Continental Tire the Americas LLC through its extended partnership with Soccer United Marketing (SUM), Major League Soccer’s commercial arm, and United States Soccer.  Continental Tire is the official tire of MLS as well as the MLS All-Star Game and MLS Cup.

“We’ve had strong presence in the Los Angeles market for over 20 years, so it seemed like a natural fit to develop a relationship with a sports team that is such an important part of the local community,” says Dan Brown, executive vice president of ATD and president of Tire Pros.

Throughout the 2013 season, Tire Pros will be featured as the official tire retailer through a multi-channel, integrated marketing mix including:

* radio broadcasts,

* in-stadium signage,

* game promotions,

* grass root community events (including community soccer clinics for underprivileged youth) and

* digital ads.

In addition, consumers will have the opportunity to meet and interact with LA Galaxy players at five different L.A.-based Tire Pros stores during the season.

To drive store traffic and support its partnership with the team, the group of participating Southern California Tire Pros dealers will offer an “Out of this Galaxy Tire Special” retail package, which includes a standard oil change, tire rotation, alignment check and complete safety inspection.

“This relationship is all about interaction and experience, and giving our dealers an opportunity to cultivate new relationships while building upon existing relationships with their local communities and customers, particularly ‘soccer moms,’” says Quick Chadwick, Tire Pros' director of marketing. 

In May, Continental announced it not only extended its relationship with MLS, but also expanded its soccer program in North America to include U.S. Soccer.

"Our partnership with MLS has been very beneficial," says Travis Roffler, director of marketing for Continental Tire. "We have been able to expose our Continental brand and its array of high-quality, long-lasting tires to the passionate MLS audience, and we think Tire Pros will see the same type of loyalty.”

There are more than 520 Tire Pros retail locations nationwide. For more information, visit  tirepros.com. For tickets for any Galaxy home game, visit www.lagalaxy.com.

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