AKRON-General Tire plans to bolster brand awareness through a $2-million-plus marketing campaign tied to its recently announced sponsorship of the National Football League. At the same time, the tire maker will end its sponsorship of the Professional Bowlers Association's Tournament of Champions after just one year of a three-year deal because the company had too many projects and not enough funds, a spokesman said.
Brand awareness is a ``major weakness'' for the firm, the spokesman said. But the exposure General will gain through its NFL affiliation should increase its visibility, company officials said.
``The NFL has tremendous marketing potential,'' said Sher R. Taton, director of advertising and marketing programs. ``We can tie in with the NFL's extreme popularity.''
The exclusive agreement means General will be the only tire maker allowed to use the NFL logo in conjunction with its products and promotions.
General's campaign will include national and regional ads with a heavy radio component, though some national TV ads are planned, Ms. Taton said.
Other facets include dealer and customer promotions, local publicity with NFL players, direct mail and in-store displays.
The sponsorship is renewable after one year, and the firm expects to be involved with the NFL for at least three years, the General spokesman said.