PHOENIX—Michelin Americas Small Tires' Uniroyal brand has developed several programs designed to foster dealer loyalty and deliver incremental sales and profits.
Heading the list of programs is Uniroyal's participation in local youth soccer leagues as a way to promote Uniroyal to families under the brand's "Best for Family" positioning strategy.
Begun two years ago as a pilot program to allow dealers to get involved in local soccer programs—and provide exposure to the families of soccer players—the Uniroyal soccer program may attract three times as many dealer participants this year as last, according to Joseph Herget, Uniroyal brand manager.
Among the new initiatives is creation of an "e-soccer" electronic newsletter/message board service dealers can set up for their local soccer leagues, Mr. Herget said at MAST's recent national dealer meeting in Phoenix.
Additionally, Uniroyal is stepping up its support and sponsorship of the nationally active Uniroyal TOPsoccer program for children with disabilities. Julie Foudy, a player with the U.S. national team, has been recruited to be TOPsoccer's spokesperson; last year she appeared on NBC TV's "Today Show" and was a celebrity contestant on ABC TV's "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"
Driving home the bottom-line possibility of the soccer program, Mr. Herget said that each new customer attracted represents more than $20,000 in potential business over time.
Breaking it down another way, Mr. Herget offered the example of a soccer ball giveaway, underwritten by Uniroyal and the dealer.
An average promotion might attract up to 500 soccer families from local leagues to the sponsor's store. Assume 90 percent of these are families who have never been in the dealer's store before, Mr. Herget said, yielding 450 potential new customers.
If the dealer is able secure business from half of these, the dealer could benefit from the sale of up to 225 sets of new tires the first year; that translates into 900 additional units, or at least $60,000 in new business.
Assuming these newly won customers are satisfied and return in subsequent years with other vehicles from the "family fleet," the dealer could book up to $4 million in incremental sales over time, Mr. Herget said. Uniroyal will complement the soccer program with two consumer promotions.
The spring promotion will offer a $40 rebate from late February to the end of April on the purchase of four Touring HR and TR, AquaGrip or NailGard tires.
A late summer promotion—June 17-Aug. 31—will feature a $50 "retailer loyalty credit" for purchasers of four passenger, SUV or light truck tires; the credit, which is to be used for other goods or services, is designed to drive the customer back to the dealer and generate incremental revenues and profits, Mr. Herget said.
Uniroyal product launches this year include a Touring HR for the fast-growing touring car segment, the Tiger Paw AS6000 for mid-range customers, an 80,000-mile Durability tire in the premium broadline range, and the Laredo HD/T light truck tire.