Passenger and Light Truck Tires division expands international soccer sponsorship

01/22/2010 Continental Tire North America Becomes Exclusive Tire Sponsor for Growing Major League Soccer

• Goal: To boost awareness of premium Continental brand
• Sponsoring to be integrated closely into business relationships

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Fort Mill, USA/Hanover, Germany, January 22, 2010. In addition to its sponsorship of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa, international automotive supplier Continental AG is expanding its long-term marketing strategy for its premium Continental tire brand by sponsoring the American Major League Soccer as exclusive tire partner.

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“With this top sponsorship, which is especially attractive for North America, we will have an ideal national basis for our marketing communications starting in March when the 2010 season gets underway. Since 2003, we have utilized our sponsorship of the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cup to increase awareness of our premium Continental tire brand, which we want to boost even further, particularly in North America,” explained Matthias Schönberg, who is in charge of the Passenger and Light Truck Tire division’s replacement business in North, Central and South America, in Fort Mill, USA.

“In view of the popularity of the Major Soccer League, which has grown considerably in recent months, we feel that now, for the first time, there is sufficient momentum to consider a national sponsorship,” said Schönberg.

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Matthias Schönberg

Thanks to exclusive sponsorship deals for the Champions League (1995 – 2000), the 2006 FIFA World Cup (2003 – 2006) and UEFA EURO 2008 (2006 - 2008), the automotive supplier has continuously increased the brand awareness of its premium Continental tire brand in major European sales markets.

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 “With this sponsorship, we are now using soccer as a central communications platform for our premium Continental brand in North America as well. After all, soccer also stands for excellent team performance, a high level of technique, and a great deal of enthusiasm in this region too. This all corresponds perfectly to the positioning of our brand and the attributes of our products. From the very start, we want to involve our business partners as closely in this sponsorship as possible, consistently making the most of tickets and hospitality,” Schönberg said.

As a sponsor of Major League Soccer, Continental will have perimeter advertising in the four corners of all stadiums, ensuring a highly visible market presence at the more than 240 matches broadcast in North America. Furthermore, the agreed sponsoring package also includes tickets, VIP hospitality as well as commercials on national TV and a presence on the official website www.mlsnet.com. All information having to do with Continental AG’s international soccer sponsoring can be found at the website www.ContiSoccerWorld.com.

Contact:
Alexander Lührs
Head of Public Relations
Car Tyre Division
Continental AG l Rubber Group
Continental Reifen Deutschland GmbH
Büttnerstraße 25 
30165 Hanover, Germany
Phone: +49 511 938-2615
Fax: +49 511 938-2455
Email: alexander.luehrs@conti.de
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