Falken “to aggressively expand” motorsport activities
Falken Tire has announced that it will continue to expand its motorsport activities “aggressively” in 2012. Teams supported by the manufacturer won two American Le Mans Series races in the challenging GT class during the 2011 season and claimed a second consecutive Championship in the Formula Drift series. “Falken vigorously supports its motorsports involvement with numerous marketing strategies,” explained Andrew Hoit, Falken’s vice president of marketing. The brand demonstrated its marketing strategy in blending motorsport involvement and social networking activity at events in Europe too, such as its use of Facebook during the 24 Hours at the Nürburgring, reported by Tyres & Accessories in June.
Hoit continued to explain that the strategy had been enacted “through a series of unique activations such as a Cayman Sweepstakes, which generated thousands of likes on Facebook, as well as through exposure, such as placing a specially designed Falken QR [Quick Response] Code on the hood of our Porsche that when triggered by a smartphone, takes enthusiasts to a unique Falken mobile site.” Falken thus uses its affiliations with motorsports to boost recognition, customer engagement and dealer/retailer involvement through at-track hospitality, Falken product giveaways and special promotions.
This will continue in 2012 as Falken takes delivery of a new 2012 Porsche GT3 RSR chassis, preparing to challenge for honours in the ALMS GT class. “The new chassis makes us one of the first teams in the world to have one of these incredibly sophisticated race cars,” Hoit added. “Derrick Walker will return to manage our ALMS team, and we expect the same from our drivers, Wolf Henzler and Brian Sellers, each of whom has developed quite a following on our various fan sites. We have shown the competition and our customers the versatility of our products by winning on both wet and dry track surfaces, and demonstrated that Falken means business when it comes to sports car racing.”
In the Formula Drift Championship, Falken won five out of seven events during the 2011 season, which enabled Team Falken’s veteran member Daijiro Yoshihara to capture the Driver’s trophy. “It was a perfect combination of driver, team and tire that earned Falken’s second consecutive Formula D Championship,” said Nick Fousekis, Falken director of motorsports and consumer events. “Formula Drift is an important series for Falken, and allows us to showcase our Azenis 615K tire. Based on its successes, we leverage its significant capabilities on the track by developing important brand appeal for our customers. That’s critical in all our motorsports efforts.”
In the off-road side of business, Falken will continue its SuperCross involvement in 2012 as the Official Truck Tire of the Monster Energy Supercross and will continue to support defending series champion Ryan Villopoto, who will be at SEMA in the Falken booth this week signing autographs. Ryan will again mount his bike to defend his crown on January 7th in Anaheim, CA.
Additional off-road performance will be demonstrated via the new WildPeak A/T when Falken competes in the King of the Hammers event in February 2012 – the always wild Unlimited 4400 King of the Hammers has rapidly expanded its total participation from a dozen entrants to more than 100, signifying the importance this event holds for many off-road competitors.
“Motorsports takes on multiple meanings for Falken,” Fousekis added. “We use all forms of racing to help test, develop and market our products. Obviously, winning is the ultimate goal, but it isn’t the only one. What we learn at the track helps make Falken products that much better at the consumer level. For this reason alone, Falken will remain deeply involved in motorsports and performance.”