The journey began with its sponsorship of UEFA Champions League from 1995 to 2000. Continental AG’s tyre division has for almost 18 years used football sponsorship as a strategic communications platform beginning in 1995 with UEFA Champions League sponsorship. In 2003, Continental Tires became Official Sponsor of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Ever since, sponsorship includes UEFA EURO 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, and UEFA EURO 2012 in Poland and the Ukraine. Such associations have helped increase brand awareness for Continental through football stadiums worldwide.
Continental’s tyre business ranks as 4th largest tyre manufacturer reporting sales of €9.7 billion and 42,500 employees. As tech leaders, the company sees 1 of 3 cars manufactured in Europe fitted with Continental tires. In the car winter tire segment, Continental sold more than 21 million tires in 2012.
Continental intends to use international and regional football sponsorship in countries at the heart of its volume sales regions, South America and Europe. Continental also partner’s national teams in Spain and The Netherlands. In France, sponsorship includes the women’s and men’s national team. Continental in England sponsors the FA Women’s Super League. Sponsorship in England and USA includes national football associations, FA and US Soccer. Continental finds it difficult imagining not being involved in football.
As official sponsor, tickets and hospitality are central sponsorship activation strengths alongside product test drives and big screen viewing as and when possible. In Brazil’s tyre sector, Continental’s market share is upward of 10% with an aim to grow further through its sponsorship of 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. Continental’s passenger car and commercial vehicle tyre plant in Camacari, Brazil employed 1,300 employees in 2012 having manufactured 5.5 million tires. Production at present is being ramped to almost twice. Camacari plant is crucial in meeting South American demand for original equipment and replacement tires. Continental global sales accounted to €33.3 billion in 2013, and employs more than 178,000 people globally.