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Events & Topics

Mar. 03, 2016

Not just AC Milan! Introducing two more soccer teams supported by Toyo Tires: England’s Leicester City F.C. and Russia’s FC Zenit.

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Many of you know through various projects like our collaborative video and the Milanista 11 fan tour that Toyo Tires sponsors AC Milan. But AC Milan is not the only team we support…
As a company with tire sales subsidiaries in 13 countries throughout the world including Japan, we are not only committed to branding globally but locally as well. One way we brand locally is by sponsoring sports teams. Today we will introduce two soccer teams sponsored by our subsidiaries in the United Kingdom and in Russia.

 

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Let’s start off with Toyo Tyre (UK) Ltd (“TUK”).
Located in Northamptonshire, TUK was established in 2005. Today most of the country’s major car makers are owned by German and other foreign companies, but when TUK was founded the UK was one of the world’s big three auto producing nations. In this land that has a rich history of producing such famous cars as Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar and Austin, TUK has launched numerous initiatives aimed at boosting recognition of the Toyo Tires brand.
*Left photo: exhibiting at Autosport International Show 2015; right photo: TUK-sponsored pro darts player Stephen Bunting.

 

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As one such initiative, beginning last season* TUK signed a sponsorship agreement with Leicester City F.C., a local team which in 2014 was promoted to England’s Premier League. Last year Japanese star forward Shinji Okazaki joined the club, teaming up with leading scorer Jamie Vardy to form a powerful duo that has propelled the team to the top of the current standings, and fans are starting to take notice.

*2014-2015 season

 

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TUK advertises the Toyo Tires logo on the players’ training wear, the stadium’s exterior, and the LED panel inside the stadium. Premier League games are broadcast not just within the UK but worldwide as well, and this exposure has clearly given the Toyo Tires presence a major boost in the UK and all over the globe!

 

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Meanwhile, last August Russian sales subsidiary TOYO TIRE RUS LLC (“TTRU”) began sponsorship of Russian Football Premier League powerhouse FC Zenit Saint Petersburg. The team plays out of Petrovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia’s second largest city, and is a proven winner, having won the league championship in the 2014-2015 season. Currently sitting atop the standings of Group H of Europe’s Champions League (as of February 18, 2016), the team’s name is on the rise not just in Russia but in Europe as well. Former J League star Hulk from Brazil is also member of the club, which will help boost the team’s appeal with Japanese fans.

 

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Europe is an essential strategic area for Toyo Tires’ global brand strategy, along with North America and Japan. In Russia in particular, where demand for SUVs & CUVs that use large-diameter tires, a strength of Toyo, is growing, TTRU is aggressively involved in branding initiatives that go even beyond the Zenit sponsorship, with a goal of establishing the brand presence in this region.

One such initiative is Toyo’s support of the Russian Drift series, which we showcased in last year’s Events & Topics.

 

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Currently, in addition to displaying the Toyo Tires logo at the team’s home stadium TTRU has been rolling out ads featuring the Zenit players. For the future, TTRU is looking into various collaborative projects utilizing Facebook, Instagram, and other social networking services, and even interactive media like soccer game software. Although we have no similar projects on the horizon for Japan, we’ll definitely let you know when we do, so be sure to keep an eye out!

[Report: Harada]

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