Continental Unveils New Taglines, Partnerships at Gold Meeting
More Than 300 Dealers Are Attending This Week's Event
New brand taglines, partnerships, sponsorships and the continuation of successful programs for Continental Gold Dealers are major themes at this week's Continental Tire Gold Dealer meeting in Cap Cana, Dominican Republic.
Chris Charity, vice president of sales, U.S. PLT replacement business, Continental Tire the Americas LLC, said the 316 qualified dealers attending the event represent the largest number of Gold meeting attendees in the program's history.
He noted that Continental's recently signed deal to be the official tire of Universal Technical Institute is an example of how the company is responding to the needs and concerns of its dealers.
In what was described as an initiative to refine Continental’s personality as a “smart, confident tire brand whose knowledge and passion inspires confidence in others”, Travis Roffler, Continental’s director of marketing, said it was time to launch a new tagline - “The Smart Choice in Tires” - for the brand. The tagline also is reflected in a new website.
Continental also has added a new element to its Total Confidence Plan for Gold Dealers. In January, it began offering trip insurance as part of the program, which dealers can offer their customers.
Roffler said the plan provides up to $500 for hotel and other expenses should a customer’s vehicle break down. The program also has expanded its use of a 60-day customer satisfaction trial.
Roffler told dealers current studies show that 86% of consumers are researching tires online prior to purchasing them. When asked by Roffler how many dealers were actively using online and social media platforms to promote their dealerships, roughly half said they were.
He also told dealers that geofencing was quickly becoming an important way to reach consumers.
Continental has signed to be the sole tire supplier and sponsor of the new Toyota Gazoo Racing (GR) Cup series, starting in 2023. The road racing series takes place at seven venues and 14 races and will use identical GR 86 Toyota Supras. Continental will provide its ExtremeContact DR tire for the series, according to Roffler.
When Continental started its sponsorship of Major League Soccer in 2010, Roffler said there were maybe 10 teams using “no-name TV channels.”
The league has since grown to 28 teams, with many events receiving national broadcasts and starting in 2023, live-streamlining through Apple.
Roffler told dealers that Continental is signed up through 2025 as a major sponsor of the league.
Continental also has continued its sponsorship of NCAA college basketball, with 32 separate schools, as well as pre-conference tournaments in November and December of this year. The season will end with sponsorships of conference championships with the Big East, Big Ten and Big 12.
Turning to the General Tire brand, Roffler said the brand also has a new tagline. In refining the General brand's personality as “a charismatic tire brand that moves with an infectious swagger, born from a steady confidence, not arrogance or rebelliousness”, the tagline simply reads “Delivers," with an emphasis on the “live” in the middle of the word.
Roffler said the General brand will continue its Major League Fishing sponsorship that began in 2013 and is broadcast on CBS, as well as Discovery and the Outdoor Channel.
General also has a contract as the sponsor of the ARCA racing series through 2024. These races air on the FS1, USA and MAVTV networks.
Gold Dealers were also given updates on recent product launches for the General brand by Joe Maher, product manager, Continental.
He said the General AltiMax RT45, which replaced the General AltiMax RT43, executed its phase one launch in June 2022 with the introduction of 100 sizes, representing 73% of volume and achieving a fill rate of 100% for dealers. The phase two launch will take place in September, with 36 additional sizes representing 27% of volume.
Maher also updated dealers on the General Grabber HD Van tire that was launched this past February. He said a key selling point for the tire is its longer tread life than comparable competitors.
Debbie Richards, Gold program manager, congratulated 10 dealers for reaching a 15-year milestone in the program, as well as 21 dealers for achieving 10 years and seven dealers for obtaining five-year status.
Richards also explained that the company was continuing to upgrade its dealer portal, as well as its Gold app for dealers.
Next year’s Gold Meeting will be held March 20-24 at the Atelier Playa Mujeres in Mexico.