HANOVER, Germany and ZURICH, Switzerland, May 20 /PRNewswire/ --
-- Leading Automotive Supplier Continues Marketing Strategy for Passenger and Light Truck Tyres
International automotive supplier Continental AG is continuing its long term marketing strategy for its premium tyre brand Continental and has been named an Official Sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup(TM) in South Africa in the tyres product category. Continental also has an option to extend its sponsorship until the 2014 FIFA World Cup(TM) in Brazil. "This top sponsoring deal continues the strategy we have been following since 1995 for our premium tyre brand Continental and continues our focus on football as a central communication platform for increasing brand awareness in our core markets over the next three years," explained Continental's Executive Board Member Dr Alan Hippe who is in charge of the Division Passenger and Light Truck Tyres today in Zurich. Thanks to exclusive sponsorship deals for the Champions League (1995 - 2000), the 2006 FIFA World Cup(TM) (2003 - 2006) and the UEFA EURO 2008 (2006 - 2008) the automotive supplier has continuously increased the brand awareness of premium tyre brand Continental in key markets.
In 2007, Continental became the market leader for passenger and light truck tyres in the European OEM market with a market share of over 30% and has also held the top spot for winter and tuning tyres for many years. Since acquiring a majority interest in the tyre business of Slovakian Continental Matador Rubber s.r.o. in November 2007, the company has for the first time become the overall European market leader for passenger and light truck tyres with a market share of over 21%. "We are certain that we can still significantly increase brand awareness, particularly in the growth regions outside of Western and Central Europe. With the help of our sponsorship of the 2010 FIFA World Cup we want Continental to become one of the top three premium replacement tyre brands in Eastern Europe, Russia, Asia and South America in the long term. And we want to achieve this more rapidly than would be possible with traditional advertising," comments Dr Hippe.
"Of course, our extremely positive experiences of the 2006 FIFA World Cup were an important factor in our decision to sponsor the 2010 FIFA World Cup," explains Dr Hippe. The facts speak for themselves: FIFA World Cup tournaments are by far the most eye-catching sports competitions worldwide. The 2006 FIFA World Cup attracted a total of more than 26 billion live TV viewers and also reached record levels on its official website with more than four billion page views. "Football and the tyre business are very similar as both disciplines require technique, precision, passion and teamwork," believes Dr Hippe.
Continental has acquired the rights to market sponsorship of the 2010 FIFA World Cup(TM) worldwide and will use this to link product communication with sponsorship. In addition, Continental has once again received a sizeable ticket contingent and premium hospitality, which has become an important cornerstone in its activation strategy. "It is great to be able to welcome Continental back into the FIFA World Cup Sponsor family. Continental has been an active supporter of the game of football for many years. It is a big advantage for all those involved in the event to have such prestigious global partners on board, underlining the confidence of leading blue-chip companies in the first African World Cup. We look forward to a close and fruitful relationship on our joint path towards the 2010 FIFA World Cup," commented the FIFA President.
In addition to the main aim of increasing awareness of the premium tyre brand internationally, Dr Hippe explains that the Hannover-based technology company has other marketing strategies up its sleeve:
- To charge the image of premium brand Continental with greater emotion
through its association with worldwide professional football,
- to differentiate the brand from its competitors through product
- to involve football sponsorship closely in business customer relations.
The passenger and light truck tyres division of Continental AG is already working on communication ideas for the premium tyre brand Continental up until the 2010 FIFA Word Cup(TM) and will start to implement these after UEFA EURO 2008. The tyre manufacturer also holds the leading market position in South Africa's replacement sector with a market share of more than 20% of tyres that are produced locally. In Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Continental operates a factory for passenger and light truck tyres, which employs 1,600 staff and produced and sold around 2.6 million OEM and replacement tyres in 2007. Continental runs a factory for MPV tyres, also in Port Elizabeth, which meets demand south of the Sahara as well as demand in countries hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup(TM).
In the run-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup(TM), Continental is planning to carry out numerous ticket promotion campaigns that will allow business customers and end customers alike to enjoy the games. Continental's website http://www.ContiSoccerWorld.com provides details of all of its campaigns for UEFA EURO 2008 and all other football activities. Information about the 2010 FIFA World Cup can be found on the official website http://www.FIFA.com.
With annual sales of more than EUR25 billion (based on 2006 figures), the Continental Corporation is one of the top five automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of tyres, brake systems, powertrain and chassis systems and components, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics and technical elastomers, the corporation contributes to enhanced driving safety and protection of the global climate. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication. The corporation currently employs approximately 150,000 people at more than 200 locations in 36 countries.
Continental's tyre divisions are an official sponsor of UEFA EURO 2008(TM) and, as from today, the Official Sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup(TM). Further information is available at http://www.ContiSoccerWorld.com, http://www.conti-online.com, and http://www.ContiFanWorld.com.
Head of PR - PLT Tires Phone: +49(0)511-9382615
Continental AG Fax: +49(0)511-9382455
Media database at http://www.mediacenter.continental-corporation.com
Alexander Lührs, Head of PR - PLT Tires Phone: +49(0)511-9382615, Continental AG Fax: +49(0)511-9382455, Email: Alexander.Luehrs@conti.de