Continental Extends Football Sponsorship with World Cup 2014 Deal
Continental has extended its sponsorship of international football events with a deal to become the Exclusive Tyre Partner and Official Sponsor of 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. “With preparation for activation of our sponsoring of the 2010 FIFA World Cup 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,” explained Nikolai Setzer, Continental Executive Board member for Passenger and Light Truck Tyres.
“As 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,” Setzer continued.
While Continental is clearly aiming to ensure the prominence of its premium brand in fast-growing, emerging markets, such as Brazil, the German corporation is also entering Major League Soccer in the USA. “We are convinced that sponsoring the 2014 FIFA World Cup 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 tyre business in the world’s key markets and tie soccer sponsoring as closely as possible into our business relations,” notes Setzer.
In addition to the brand communication platform provided by this most global of sports at its premier worldwide event, 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 Tyres divisions will develop a new marketing concept for the premium Continental tyre brand for the period through 2014 FIFA World Cup. The tyre-maker is already a major player in the Brazilian replacement business, controlling over 10 per cent of the market (Continental’s own figures). The 1057 employees at a passenger and commercial vehicle tyre plant Continental operates in Camacari, Brazil, produced a total of more than 4 million tyres in 2009. The requirements in the South American original equipment and replacement business are largely covered by local production.
Conti’s past exclusive sponsorship agreements include Champions League (1995 – 2000), 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany, UEFA EURO 2008 and 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Through these deals, the automotive supplier says it has continuously increased brand awareness of its premium Continental tyre brand in major sales markets. On the road to 2010 FIFA World Cup (beginning on 11 June), Continental has run a website (www.ContiSoccerWorld.com), providing 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 tyre partner in the “Road to South Africa” project (www.road-to-south-africa.de), 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, the website will be exploring these topics with videos, images and texts.