ORLANDO, FLa.—Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins, No Doubt. Names not normally associated with tires. But Michelin Americas Small Tires is hoping that its sponsorship of two 30-city rock-and-roll concert tours this year featuring bands with names such as these will boost the image of the BFGoodrich brand among what it calls the ``Techno-Sport'' market: trend-conscious, active males, 18-44, who are top prospects for purchasing BFGoodrich light truck and performance tires.
Speaking at the MAST dealer meeting in Orlando Jan. 8, John Winterburn, BFGoodrich brand manager, said the rock-and-roll concert tour will continue the brand's efforts to reach out to consumers through event marketing.
Events extend ``the impact of the brand's advertising into an environment where consumers are most open and receptive,'' he said. ``They expand and reinforce the brand's personality traits through association with the qualities of the event.''
The BFGoodrich brand chose rock music because its influence is interwoven throughout the Techno-Sport lifestyle. ``This medium not only gives us an open field void of tire sponsors, it's the very root of the youth culture,'' Mr. Winterburn said.
The concerts will provide performers who are well known in both the classic and contemporary rock arena. The Legends Tour will feature artists such as Bob Dylan and Neil Young, while the modern rock tour will features acts like Smashing Pumpkins.
The two tours will hit major cities where audiences in excess of 15,000 per concert can be expected, Mr. Winterburn said.
Michelin will display BFG banners and signs at each site on tour trucks and show vehicles, at concert entrances and stage wings, and even on stage.
Promotion will be done on radio and in newspapers prior to each concert and through a direct mail campaign to subscribers of Rolling Stone magazine. The direct mail campaign will encourage readers to enter a concert sweepstakes by submitting entries at local dealerships. Rolling Stone also will promote the tours and sweepstakes.
``We believe that this tour and its halo effect will attract the attention and create the tie-in we are looking for in this market segment,'' Mr. Winterburn said. ``It's a perfect fit.''
In addition to the concert tours, Michelin will run a year-long BFGoodrich-brand print campaign in 28 magazines, targeted at the cosmetic, technical and truck enthusiasts. It also is targeting a new group, outdoor enthusiasts, via three publications: Sports Afield, Hunting and North American Hunter.