Tyre manufacturer holds to long-range marketing strategy for passenger
and light truck tires
— Positioning of premium Continental brand to be further strengthened
— Tickets and hospitality remain key cornerstones of activation
— Sponsoring of Major League Soccer opens up chances in North America
Continental AG is steadfastly holding to its successful long-range marketing strategy for its premium Continental tire brand and extending its sponsoring of world soccer events in the tire product category through the 2014 FIFA World Cup(TM) in Brazil. “With preparation for activation of our sponsoring of the 2010 FIFA World Cup(TM) in South Africa going ahead at full steam, we have already laid the ground for worldwide marketing communication in the next few years by renewing the FIFA partnership through 2014. As a central communications platform, pro soccer has been shown to be extremely useful in enhancing brand awareness in our core markets and in contributing to a steady strengthening of our premium Continental brand’s market position. Being the effervescent soccer nation that it is and the host of the next FIFA World Cup, Brazil already, at this time, promises a uniquely enthusiastic and impassioned festival – attributes that likewise excellently fit our products,” explained Nikolai Setzer, Continental Executive Board member for Passenger and Light Truck Tires.
Continental is today the world’s fourth largest manufacturer of passenger tires. The Hanoverians have firmly positioned themselves as technology leader, evidenced by their control of over 30 percent of the European original equipment market. Since the end of 2007 Continental has been the overall passenger tire market leader in Europe (original equipment and replacement business) and has, for many years now, dominated the worldwide winter passenger tire business. “We are convinced that sponsoring the 2014 FIFA World Cup(TM) in Brazil will allow us to markedly enhance our brand awareness, especially in regions where market demand is growing fast at the moment, like South America and Asia. In addition, by sponsoring Major League Soccer we are, for the first time, able to use North American pro soccer as a national communications platform. Over the long run, we want to make Continental a top premium brand in the replacement tire business in the world’s key markets and tie soccer sponsoring as closely as possible into our business relations,” notes Setzer.
Continental has acquired the rights to market sponsorship of the 2014 FIFA World Cup(TM) in Brazil worldwide and will use this to link product communication in general with the sponsorship. Apart from this, a sizeable ticket contingent and premium hospitality will once again be available, something that has established itself as a key cornerstone in Continental’s activation strategy. In the fall of 2010, Continental’s Passenger and Light Tires divisions will develop a new marketing concept for the premium Continental tire brand for the period through 2014 FIFA World Cup(TM). The tiremaker is already a major player in the Brazilian replacement business, controlling over 10 percent of the market. The 1057 employees at a passenger and commercial vehicle tire plant Continental operates in Camacari, Brazil, produced a total of more than four million tires in 2009. The requirements in the South American original equipment and replacement business are largely covered by local production.
With the help of exclusive sponsorship agreements for the Champions League (1995 – 2000), 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany(TM), UEFA EURO 2008 and 2010 FIFA World Cup(TM) in South Africa, the automotive supplier has continuously increased brand awareness of its premium Continental tire brand in major sales markets. On the road to 2010 FIFA World Cup(TM) Continental reports at www.ContiSoccerWorld.com in numerous close-ups, portraits and interviews. It also provides comprehensive coverage of the teams and stars and of the country and people as well as highlighting all of its own activities in the soccer domain. Moreover, as sole tire partner in the “Road to South Africa” (www.road-to-south-africa.de) project, Continental provides an exclusive look at the culture, life style and landscape of over 25 African countries. From early April through to the opening match of FIFA World Cup in Johannesburg on June 11, 2010, the website will be exploring these topics with videos, images and texts.
With sales of approximately EUR 20 billion in 2009 Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, Continental contributes enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently employs approximately 134,500 in 46 countries.
The Passenger and Light Truck Tires division develops and manufactures passenger and light truck tires for compact, mid-size and full-size cars as well as tires for AWD, vans and light trucks. The division produces tires under the brand names of “Continental”, “Uniroyal” (except in the NAFTA region, Columbia and Peru), “Semperit”, “Barum”, “General Tire”, “Euzkadi”, “Viking”, “Gislaved”, “Mabor”, “Matador”, “SIME Tyres” and, in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, “Dunlop”. The Passenger and Light Truck Tires division also includes the two-wheel business (motorcycle and bicycle) and the retail tire companies with more than 2,200 specialty tire outlets and franchises in 13 countries.