Orlando, FL (PRWEB) May 21, 2004
The reality of tire-buying is that consumers usually are not passionate about the purchase of new rubber for their vehicles. Tire industry veteran Tom Kopplin intends to change that scenario.
Kopplin, chairman and CEO of All Sports Tire Company, based in Orlando, is tapping into the rabid fanaticism and buying power of college sports followers by developing specialized tires with collegiate sports team names built into the sidewalls.
ÂWe have created another reason for a person to buy a particular tireÂ and to feel good about the purchase,Â said Kopplin. ÂOn the sidewall of these tires, we present an opportunity for that person to proudly show off their favorite teamÂs name, wherever he goes.Â
In the U.S., fans are spending nearly $3 billion annually on college-licensed merchandise, reflecting a deep desire to show their school spirit. They buy T-shirts, flags, license plate covers and countless other items, but it took Kopplin Â with his 25 years of tire sales experience Â to create the novel and practical concept of marketing outlined white letter tires that support school pride. This concept will also create additional licensing revenue for their favorite university.
Golfing legend Arnold Palmer believes the concept to be so unique and financially promising that he has joined as one of the major investors of All Sports Tire Company, along with former United Airlines Chairman Richard Ferris and former LPGA Commissioner Charles Mechem. Another popular golfer, Fuzzy Zoeller, also has joined the company recently as an investor.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company will manufacture the tires in the most popular SUV and pickup truck sizes, covering 70 percent of the identified target audience. Additional tire sizes are planned to meet the projected demand.
The tires will be available as replacement offerings through distributors and tire retailers. In some cases, they also will be available as new vehicle purchase Âchangeovers,Â with All Sports Tire using some car dealer showroom displays to help promote the sales of new SUVs and pickups.
Market research indicates a substantial segment of fans are passionate enough to purchase the collegiate tires, even if they still have useful tread remaining on their existing tires.
ÂWe believe there are plenty of loyal fans who will want these new tires on their vehicles in time for the fall football season and the many football stadium tailgate gatherings,Â Kopplin said.
With college basketball just as fiercely supported on many campuses, the sales potential appears strong, according to All Sports Tire projections. Further, when factoring in the constant influx of new students at any university, coupled with the ever-increasing alumni numbers, the future looks bright for collegiate tires. Additionally, Internet sales will likely play a key future role, making the tires available nationwide to alumni and fans, no matter where they are located. Internet sales are available through the http://www.selecttire.com website.
All Sports Tire has received official licensing approval by the Collegiate Licensing Company, and will have tires available in May for the first two schools Â the University of Florida Gators and the Florida State Seminoles. Collegiate tires for the Georgia Bulldogs, Tennessee Volunteers and Alabama Crimson Tide will follow, with plans to expand to specific tires for the top 30 college teams as the program grows.
ÂThe early reaction is great. My first sales contact was Barron Tire, a large distributor in Florida, and they gave us an immediate order for 5,000 tires,Â said Kopplin. He said discussions are being held to possibly sell the tires through Goodyear retail outlets, as well.
ÂThis is an exciting concept, and we are pleased to be involved in the manufacturing of these unique tires,Â said Jon Rich, GoodyearÂs president of North American Tire. ÂWe have the technology that allows us to take this to different steps, perhaps even to build the images of school mascots into the tires, along with the team names.Â
The ideas for future development of the sports-minded tires are almost without limits. Palmer has only one request: ÂBe sure you make tires for my Wake Forest University Demon Deacons!Â
For more information, contact:
All Sports Tire Company Management Team
Tom Kopplin, Chairman and CEO
Robert J. Wheelock, President
Gene OÂBaker, Chief Financial Officer
Robert N. McChesney, Chief Operating Officer/National Sales
All Sports Tire Company, LLC
7575 Dr. Phillips Blvd.
Suite 365 Phillips Place
Orlando, FL 32819
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