As part of our discussions with Goodyear at the IAA, we covered the manufacturer’s marketing and sponsorship activities within the commercial vehicle space. Maciej Szymański, the Director of Marketing Commercial Europe, touched upon the manufacturer’s activities in the FIA Truck Racing Championship, approach to trade fairs and view on brand awareness within video games and E-Sports.
Szymański Discusses Impact of Truck Racing Championship Partnership
This season Goodyear began its second term as the exclusive supplier for the FIA European Truck Racing Championship as well as becoming a title partner and sponsor of the championship. Szymański explained the benefits behind the partnership; “It’s a platform for more conversations within the commercial vehicle industry and allows us to talk with fleets managers about the future of the industry and showcase the solutions we can provide. In that context it is the number one element.
“The number two element allows us to demonstrate in a highly demanding environment how strong our products are because, as you know in the trucking industry, the fleet and maintenance managers know the performance of their products inside out. They run sophisticated fleets, but smaller and medium fleets don’t have that reference point.”
It’s clear that Goodyear have a platform to display in the toughest conditions, which are often similar to those that truck tyres face in operation on the motorway. This testing ground allows the manufacturer and the brand to further be associated with aspects of reliability and consistent quality that are key for any fleet, considering the costs involved in any unforeseen downtime.
Szymański adds; “Another great part of the racing is the product development angle. It is a test benchmark, so when we are in touch with those tyres, we are testing different things and getting the feedback from the teams.”
As an added benefit to the title sponsorship, and as you may have read in other content we have published, Goodyear push their sustainability and retreading credentials via their involvement in the FIA European Truck Racing Championship by committing to a retreading programme on all the tyres used in the championship, provided the casings pass the standard investigation processes that all retreads adhere to.
Moving away from truck racing, we were intrigued to quiz Goodyear on the potential marketing programmes related to video games and/or E-Sports in the truck sector. During the last 12 months, tyre manufacturers in the agricultural sector were very actively promoting their appearance in the latest installment of Farming Simulator, the globally acclaimed video game where users can manage their own farm and from a tyre perspective can opt from a variety of real-life brands to fit on their tractor. Goodyear themselves have been involved as the exclusive tyre supplier in the 24-hour virtual sim racing event, which caters more for the passenger car sector, but Szymański explained that, although there has been activity, this hasn’t been something at the forefront of their strategy for the commercial vehicle sector.
He detailed; “We had a special edition truck in a truck simulator game one or two years ago, but we don’t have a lot of detail or insights on the true results we have seen from it. There is certainly activity, but it isn’t something we put forward in our marketing strategy.
“It is a little bit of uncharted territory as to who is the target group and who is playing those games. There are clearly people that are died hard fans of these games, but it is difficult to know who they are and how to dedicate our resources in a clear way.”
We finished our discussion with Szymański discussing a timely topic, considering our location at the IAA for Transportation, in the form of trade fairs and their potential recovery place in a tyre manufacturer’s marketing mix going forward.
He said; “Everybody in the tyre or trucking industry is asking the question about the best way to meet fleets and the value of trade fairs. I think at this moment post-pandemic, being 4 years without a trade show, there has been a need to meet, have a physical connection with clients so that they can get to know the product more and build those connections. Ultimately that is why we are here.
“We want the industry to truly experience the product and find out how we can help their business with our solutions. There is certainly an opportunity, and the time will come after the IAA for Transportation to see what the results were of this activity.”