ALLEN PARK, Mich. (July 27, 2016) — Belle Tire Distributors Inc. has hired Pittsburgh-based Marc USA as its new advertising agency to handle its creative and media buying.
Marc USA was selected after a review that included six agencies, Belle Tire said, and the firm will handle the tire chain's brand strategy, creative development and production as well as media planning and buying.
The first work for Allen Park-based Belle Tire, involving broadcast, print, digital and point-of-sale marketing, will launch in October. Financial details were not disclosed.
The decision to switch agencies unifies work under one agency and ends longtime relationships: Marc USA replaces Novi, Mich.-based Atomic Ideas, which had handled the tire dealership's advertising since 2001, and Troy, Mich.-based Hocking Media, which had the Belle Tire media-buying account since 2008.
Belle Tire is well known locally for its advertising and sponsorship during Detroit Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons games on Southfield, Mich.-based Fox Sports Detroit. It most recently renewed that relationship — which dates to 1997 — in November for an undisclosed number of years.
The presenting sponsorship covers about 300 games annually on the network every year, Fox Sports said at the time.
Belle Tire has its name and logo featured in telecasts and as part of in-game branding of features such as Red Wings' power plays, three-pointers by the Pistons and pitch-by-pitch sequences during Tigers games. It also airs commercials during games as well as during non-sports broadcasts on other channels.
The retail and tire distribution chain, which opened in 1922 in Detroit, reported $360 million in 2014 revenue. It has 98 stores in Southeast Michigan, northern Ohio and Indiana. The dealership's president is Don Barnes III, whose grandfather became a partner of Belle Tire founder Herb Waze.
“Marc USA came in with a great creative idea built on a strategic platform that leverages all that Belle Tire stands for,” Mr. Barnes said in a statement. “When combined with their commitment to data-driven decision-making, expertise across digital and traditional media and their category experience, it was clear they are the best partner to support our growth goals.”
Marc USA, which also has offices in Chicago, Miami and Boston, has a client list that includes the American Heart Association, DePaul University, United Way, H&R Block, NASCAR, Payless, Firehouse Subs, Rite Aid, Huntington Bank and Sobieski Vodka.
The agency's $42.2 million in 2015 revenue made it the 217th largest domestic advertising firm by that metric, according to Advertising Age, a sister publication of Tire Business. The agency is part of Memphis, Tenn.-based Eastport Holdings L.L.C., a marketing agency holding company.
“We dug into (Belle Tire's) market position and customer base to create an integrated approach that builds brand relevance and connects with both current and new customers in all the ways people shop for tires and auto services today,” Tony Bucci, Marc USA chairman, said in a statement.
This story appeared on the website of Crain's Detroit Business, a sibling publication of Tire Business.