That simple, single word embodies the spirit of Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels' re-invigorated mission/image, company executives told customers and the media Nov. 2 at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas.
The revision includes a bolder version of the familiar winged Mickey Thompson logo but more importantly refocuses the company's mission and direction on its core business segmentsoff-road, drag racing, street performance and motocrossaccording to Chris Barbara, president of the Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. subsidiary.
The rebranding started a year ago, Mr. Barbara said, at the 2015 SEMA Show, where management took a hard look at the company's market presence and began asking whether the marketthat is, customerssaw Mickey Thompson the same way the company executives saw it.
In the months that followed, the company asked hundreds of customers for their opinion on that very matter and took to heart what they were saying, according to Ken Warner, vice president.
We did not want to change who or what we are, Mr. Barbara said, but we wanted to make sure we were aligned with the market's perception of who we are.
This process centers our business, he added, and lays a solid foundation for growth.
Mr. Barbara said another key reason for going through this process was to ensure that the firm presented a consistent image to the firm's growing customer base outside of North America.
With this all said and done, the company has developed a promotional campaign using a stark, black-and-white image of company founder Mickey Thompson with the word Undisputed emblazoned over it.
This will be used in various iterations in the market segments where the company feels its presence is strong enough to stand up to the scrutiny of the message, according to Dominick Wycoff, vice president, business development.
The Mickey Thompson executives also pointed out the firm is one of just a few tire companies that offer a broad range of custom wheels, under the Dick Cepek and Deegan brands.
Mickey Thompson unveiled the promotional campaign at the 2016 SEMA Show, where it also celebrated a number of motorsport achievements this year, including:
c Danny Thompson's successful assault on the piston-powered, wheel-driven land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
c A clean sweep of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing's Pro Buggy class, with Team M/T racers Darren Hardesty Jr., Garrett George and Mike Valentine finishing 1-2-3 in the season's final points standing.
The company also debuted a 40-inch version of its Baja MTZP3 light truck tire and a number of new ET Drag tire sizes and provided sneak preview of the Deegan-brand 38 all-terrain tire set to debut in 2017.
Separately, the companyfounded in 1963 by racing legend Mickey Thompsonis planning to move to a new headquarters and warehouse next year in Stow, Ohio, that will be nearly double the size of its existing facility in the Akron suburb.
Mickey Thompson envisions building a 220,000-sq.-ft. warehouse and office building on a 15-acre parcel in Stow's Prosper Drive Industrial Park. Streetsboro, Ohio-based contractor Geis Cos. secured approvals on Oct. 15 from the Stow Planning Commission to build the facility. Plans for the new property include a 20,000-sq.-ft. single-story office space within the structure. The remainder will be devoted primarily to warehousing.
The company occupies a 122,000-sq.-ft. building on the same street in the Stow industrial park, where it has operated since 1995.
The approximate investment will be $12 million, according to information in the minutes of a September 2015 meeting of the Stow Financial Assistance Committee.
Stow City Council approved revising an existing tax abatement for Mickey Thompson at its meeting Oct. 27. The tax abatement was revised so that rather than supporting a project starting in March 2016, as the abatement originally indicated, it will begin by December 2016 and will be finished by Nov. 30, 2017.
The tax abatement is for 10 years and is for 100 percent of the approved property.
To reach this reporter: [email protected]; 330-865-6145; Twitter: @reifenmensch; this story includes information from Stan Bullard, a reporter with Crain's Cleveland Business, a sister publication of Tire Business.