SUWANEE, Ga.Maxxis International Inc., which built its motorsports reputation in two-wheeler and ATV racing events, is making inroads on auto/light truck racing through a series of sponsorships of professional drivers.
Maxxis is touting its new title sponsorship of a Pro 4-class vehicle in The Off-Road Championship (TORC) series as well as title sponsorship of the Ultra 4 Rock Crawling series in Europe.
Motorsport sponsorship certainly makes our brand more visible, but also it provides a great proving ground for our product, Brad Williams, Maxxis International-USA's national sales manager, told Tire Business.
Our thought process is if we can build a product that meets the performance standards of professional racers, we're confident they're going to exceed the expectations of a typical consumer.
He said sponsorships also benefit tire dealers who carry Maxxis by making our brand more visible to consumers and also just being able to validate the quality.
Last year, as an added benefit for its tire dealers, Maxxis launched two racing support trucks, for East and West Coast events. The vehicles provide a lounge and catering for dealers and their customers at race venues.
What we generally do when there are races in the area, we'll look for local customers and give them the VIP experience, Mr. Williams said, which would include free tickets, and we cater the events for them.
He noted that while the company also sponsors baseball and basketball teamsthe company, for instance, recently signed on to sponsor the Atlanta Braves during the 2015 season and last August inked a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers to be the team's exclusive tire sponsorour focus is on motorsports.
A lot of other tire companies get involved in it for advertising. Our company was built on enthusiasts, Mr. Williams said. We started out in bicycle tires, then moved on to moto/ATV and now light truck. So really, our company was built on that customer base. So we are always going to be heavily involved and actually even growing (our involvement).
Maxxis is involved in both the TORC and Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) short course series for light trucks. It has built a project tire for the Pro 2 and Pro 4 classes and will be updating that tire, the Razr SCR, this year, Mr. Williams said.
Maxxis sponsors more than 15 drivers in all classes. This year, for the first time, the company will be a title sponsor for one of the Pro 4 vehicles driven by C.J. Greaves.
Other Maxxis sponsorship programs include:
c Presenting sponsor of the W.E. Rock and DirtRide rock crawling series and a sponsor for Ultra 4 in the U.S.;
cSponsoring drivers in various classes competing in SCORE and Best in the Desert series;
cSponsoring two drivers in Formula D drifting competition, which kicks off the 2015 season with the Streets of Long Beach event, April 10-11, in Long Beach, Calif.; and
c Grass roots sponsorship of drivers in Rally and National Auto Sport Association (NASA) events.
Maxxis also sponsors drivers in regional competitions of all the racing series, according to Mr. Williams.
Suwanee-based Maxxis International is a subsidiary of Taiwan's Maxxis International/Cheng Shin Rubber Ind. Co. Ltd.
To reach this reporter: [email protected]; 330-865-6127. Twitter: @kmccarr