Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. wants to be known as the No. 1 replacement brand in the minds of consumers, and the company thinks it has the ``ultimate'' promotion to make that happen.
To grab the public's attention and drive customers into Cooper's 5,000 dealer locations nationwide, the tire maker is launching its biggest promotion ever-the Ultimate Bowl Tour.
From Aug. 2 through Nov. 15, consumers and football fans everywhere can enter to win a trip to five of this year's top college football bowl games.
The grand prize winner gets to bring along three friends who will fly via private jet to San Antonio, Texas, Memphis, Tenn., Pasadena, Calif., New Orleans and Miami to enjoy bowl game festivities over a fun-filled week.
Cooper executives announced the contest July 26 during a press conference at Ohio State University's football stadium.
This promotion ``elevates us to a position where we've never been before,'' said Tom Dattilo, chairman, CEO and president of Cooper.
Along with the grand prize, Cooper will award 25 first-place winners with certificates for a set of Cooper tires valued at $500 per set. Fifty second-place winners will receive ESPN/Cooper Tires football jerseys.
College football fans and consumers can enter to win at any of Cooper's tire dealer locations nationwide or by logging on to www.ultimatebowltour.com.
``We think this is a great contest for dealers,'' said Dave Craig, Cooper's director of North American advertising. ``We hope they'll support this.''
Tom Geiger, president of Capital Tire Inc. in Toledo, Ohio, which operates 20 retail, wholesale and commercial tire outlets and has sold Cooper tires for 25 years, described the promotion as unique. ``Who's ever done something like this before?'' he asked. ``I think everybody's enthusiastic about it. The promotion should raise the level of visibility of the Cooper brand in the retail consumer's mind.''
For Cooper, the Ultimate Bowl Tour ``is a great way to demonstrate our commitment to college athletics,'' Mr. Craig said. The tire maker is the official tire of six major collegiate conferences, the presenting sponsor of Thursday Night Football on ESPN and the presenting sponsor of the Cooper Tire Bowl Challenge Cup.
For the Ultimate Bowl Tour, Cooper is teaming up with ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit, a former Ohio State quarterback, who will be part of a national advertising campaign.
Mr. Herbstreit will serve as the celebrity spokesman for the contest and is featured in two commercials developed to promote it.
``This Ultimate Bowl Tour is the absolute prize package,'' Mr. Herbstreit said. ``It's unbelievable that Cooper Tire came up with the concept and that I'm involved with it.''
Print, broadcast and Web ads including Mr. Herbstreit will run on ABC, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN.com, in ESPN, The Magazine and EPSN radio.
Cooper also will advertise the Ultimate Bowl Tour in regional football broadcasts of the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Mountain West, PAC-10 and SEC conference games.
In addition, the tire maker is providing its tire dealers with point-of-sale materials, including posters, counter cards and entry forms.
``This is an exciting contest and an amazing prize,'' Mr. Craig said. ``Who would not want to win this and get to feel like a rock star?''