All Sports Tire Co. L.L.C. has folded its tent after failing to generate sufficient demand for its college team-branded tires.
The firm, the initiative of former Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. executive Tom Kopplin, has ceased operations after two years of trying to tap into the ``rabid fanaticism and buying power'' of college sports followers.
Mr. Kopplin launched All Sports Tire in mid-2004 with the financial backing of several public figures, including legendary professional golfer Arnold Palmer, former United Airlines Chairman Richard Ferris and Charles Mechem, former commissioner of the Ladies Professional Golf Association.
Mr. Kopplin blamed the concept's failure on two key reasons: The initial pricing was too high, and he didn't budget enough marketing dollars to promote it properly.
``We eventually negotiated a lower price (from Goodyear, the supplier),'' Mr. Kopplin said, ``but it was probably already too late in the game. Our initial price was probably about $20 too high, which meant at retail it ended up being $50 or so too high, and that was just too much for our potential customer base.''
Goodyear still has some inventory left-essentially 15-, 16- and 17-inch versions of the Kelly Safari light truck/SUV line-that it is disposing of, Mr. Kopplin said. All Sports Tire had five tire names available: Alabama Crimson Tide, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Georgia Bulldogs and Tennessee Volunteers.
All Sports Tire licensed the use of the college names through Collegiate Licensing Co., a firm that assists collegiate licensors in protecting and controlling the use of their logos through trademark licensing.