• Andrew Collins

Lucrative Tire Sponsorships of Sport

Updated: Jun 10, 2019

Mailman took a look at the 5 billion dollar and growing sports sponsorship investment made by the Auto Tire manufacturing sector. With a long history of support for a wide range of sports, the Auto Tire industry shows no signs of taking its foot of the pedal. We look at the top players in Tire Sponsorship, the sport platforms they are leveraging and supporting, how their programs differ,what their goals are and how they are constantly looking for the edge on their competitors to drive sales, engage consumers and attract new retailers.


The industry is dominated by Asian manufacturers and their U.S based subsidiaries as well as U.S based manufacturers who drive sports sponsorship platforms that target consumers & retailers. Tire marketers in general are either using sponsorship to build awareness, promote innovation and strengthen their positioning or they are targeting retailers to push objectives through promotional platforms to sell their products to consumers.

This is just a few of the players and you will see by the range and scale of Tire Sponsorship sector, it is arguably one of the most buoyant sponsorship categories of investment in sport.

Goodyear North America (Japanese based)

Brand – Goodyear, Dunlop

The overall Strategy of Goodyear is to help customers and retailers learn from the manufacturers performance under demanding conditions on the track to help build better tires for everyday driving. Goodyear has maintained a historical foothold in auto racing (Nascar) but does have associations with U.S collage football and Italian Football. Lets not forget the The Goodyear Blimp which is traditionally a sign that there is a big sporting event nearby.

Major sponsors of NASCAR, U.S College Football, Italian Football Club – Juventus. Dunlop Tires, also a part of the Goodyear stable carries its own Team Dunlop action sports team that supports up and coming extreme action sports.

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.

Brand – Cooper Tire – Discoverer, Zeon, Sport.

Strategy – they are the U.S fourth-largest tire manufacturer and they focus on two national media / broadcast based properties, the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series and the ABC’s Saturday Afternoon Halftime Reports.

Naming rights sposnors of Ball State University Athletics; Hollywood Bowl; NHL Los Angeles Kings; Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series; West Virginia University Athletics.

Team sponsorships of MLB  New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, St Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds and Kansas City Royals.

Partners with British F3, Fish n Canada, Arsenal FC, The Off -Road Championship.

The Bridgestone U.S. subsidiary (Tokyo-based Bridgestone Corp)

Brands – Bridgestone and Firestone.

Strategy – They uses sponsorship to build visibility, engage with consumer passion points and open promotional platforms to drive retail traffic. The sporting properties they sponsors are NFL, NHL and PGA Tour on behalf of premium Bridgestone brand and MLB on behalf of mid-tier Firestone brand. They focus on national sports properties that provide national & global media exposure and ownership of key assets.

Naming rights for Bridgestone Arena, Nashville.

Presenting rights for Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.

Partner with International Olympic Olympic, World Cup Alpine Events, MotorGP Tire Supplier

Cosponsor of Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, HSBC Sevens World Series, Las Vegas; NFL, NFL Tennessee Titans; NHL; NHL Player’s Assn.; NHL Nashville Predators; PGA Tour.Firestone: MLB, MLB Detroit Tigers and Saint Louis Cardinals.

Title sponsors of Bridgestone Corp. PGA Tours’ World Golf Championships and titls the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at the Firestone Country Club .

Continental Tire North America, Inc.  

Brands – Continental and General Tire

Strategy – North American subsidiary of Continental AG has  a centred sponsorship activity around football and has committed to multimillion-dollar deals with Major League Soccer to support its parent’s tie with FIFA World Cup . They promote their sponsorship of football involvement through www.ContiSoccerWorld.com.

Major partners of UEFA EURO; Asian Cup; Chinese Football Association; U.S Soccer Federation; FIFA World Cup Brazil

Team sponsors of: MLS; Team Lipton cycling team; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Athletics.

Hankook Tire America Corp. (Korean Parent)

Brand – Hankook

Strategy –  they focus sponsorship activity on MLB teams; the company leverages ties with the Great Hit promotion that dangles a rebate up to $80 for consumers who purchase four tires. Hankook further supports the promo with the Great Hit sweeps competition activation aimed at consumers and dealers. The company supports its sponsorships with an integrated marketing campaign that includes home plate ads, TV and print ads, motor sports sponsorships and a billboard in New York City’s Times Square.

They are team sponsors of  MLB Arizona Diamondbacks; Atlanta Braves; Baltimore Orioles; Chicago White Sox; Cincinnati Reds; Cleveland Indians; Colorado Rockies; Detroit Tigers; Florida Marlins; Houston Astros;  Los Angeles Dodgers;  Milwaukee Brewers;  New York Mets;  Oakland Athletics; Philadelphia Phillies;  Pittsburgh Pirates; St. Louis Cardinals; Tampa Bay Rays and Washington Nationals.

Hankook have additional partnerships in the U.K. with The Royal Int’l Horse Show. They sponsors Formula Drift and teams in the Redline Time Attack Series, Rally Cross and Pikes Peak Hill Climb.

Kumho Tire U.S.A., Inc. (Korean based)

Brands – Ecsta, Souls

The strategy of the U.S. subsidiary of Seoul, South Korea-based Kumho Tire Co. focuses its sponsorship on the NBA and U.S Soccer Federation, its also builds on existing ties with college athletics. They use sponsorship to promote a premium positioning, strengthening its image as a top tire manufacturer to drive consideration.

Team sponsors of  NBA Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat;  NFL Buffalo Bills;  The Ohio State University Athletics;  Tennessee State University. In U.S. Soccer the sponsor University of Florida; University of South Florida Athletics and University of Texas Athletics.

Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. (Japanese based)

The strategy for Toyo focuses on two main platforms: the Pac-12 Conference and Ultimate Fighting Championship. They have a focus on digital media and mobile marketing to help leverage their sponsorship programs. The sponsorship of UFC affords branding on octagon ring posts during six pay-per-view TV broadcasts and on-mat exposure at select Fight Nights.

Major sposnors of  Pac-12 Conference and the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

They also partner with autocross at the Super Chevy Show presented by GM Performance Division; other partnerships include the National Auto Sport; SCCA Club Racing; and SCAA Pro Racing.

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