ROME, Ga. (Oct. 9, 2013) — Staying true to its stated premium marketing strategy, Pirelli Tire North Amrica Inc. has forged a "partnership" with Audi Club North America and struck a deal with Porsche Club of America (PCA) for Pirelli to be the official tire for the PCA's various club racing championships.
The deals reflect Pirelli's strategy to align itself more closely with premium car brands and forge a link to their constituency, according to Rafael Navarro, Pirelli's NAFTA region vice president of communications, motorsports and public relations.
Pirelli's partnership with Audi Club North America is tied to Pirelli's strong OE presence with Audi and Volkswagen Group, Mr. Navarro said.
The partnership started recently when Pirelli sponsored the Audi club's annual convention in Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 2-6 and will continue with engagements at other regional events, he added.
"This marks an exciting strategic direction for Pirelli and a new way forward in engaging with customers who are elite driving enthusiasts," Mr. Navaro said.
"This partnership allows us to complement Audi's esteemed vehicle offering for its membership base with our superior tire products. Ultimately, it reflects our ongoing commitment to building a premium brand profile in North America."
Audi Club North America has more than 7,500 members, Pirelli said, making it the largest club for Audi owners in the world. The club stages events throughout the year to allow its members to enjoy Audi's all-wheel drive, including special driving schools, fun runs, rallies, technical sessions and other social activities.
"We look forward to working with Pirelli to provide our members with an even greater luxury driving experience through their product range and involvement in upcoming events," said Audi Club North America President Andreas Dharmawan.
Regarding Porsche Club of America, Pirelli said the deal making it the official tire for the PCA's Club Racing National Points Championships builds on its long-standing history with the club.
Starting next year, Pirelli will be the official tire for the PCA's GTC-3, GTC-4, GTC-5 and GTC-6 National Points Championships. PTNA, in partnership with race tire distributor and motorsports service company JX2 Performance Group, will provide technical and engineering support to all teams during events.
"We are proud of the homologations Pirelli has earned on Porsche's current sports car line up that it seemed quite fitting to find a way in which to carry this momentum over to the motorsport arena," Mr. Navarro said.
As part of the agreement, Pirelli and Greenville, S.C.-based JX2 will provide an all-expenses-paid trip for two to a Pirelli motorsports event for a selected PCA member.
JX2 describes PCA Club Racing as the largest single-marque racing organization in the world, with more than 109,000 members in 140 local regions. Activities include autocross, rally, concours, restoration, Porsche history and PCA Club Racing.