By Barry Janoff
September 28, 2015: Calling it a significant move to heighten brand awareness and aggressively increase market share, Falken Tires today signed a deal making it the official tire of Major League Baseball, which beginning with the 2016 season will come with multi-platform marketing support to include the All-Star Game, post-season and World Series.
To jump-start the pact, Falken said it would have "global marketing rights for the 2015 MLB post-season."
Financial terms of the multi-year alliance were not released.
According to Falken Tires, the new partnership "represents a strategic expansion of Falken's sports sponsorship program, marking the company's first deal with a professional sports league after enjoying significant success in motorsports marketing for 30 years."
MLB's previous partner in the category was Firestone, a sibling of Bridgestone tires, via a deal that ran from 2010 through 2014. MLB did not have an official partner in the category this season.
Falken's foray into MLB began this season via a one-year deal with the Detroit Tigers.
The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based company, a division of Sumitomo Rubber Industries in Japan, said the MLB agreement is part of a "larger expansion of Falken Tires marketing efforts across the U.S. as Falken Tires looks to heighten brand awareness and aggressively increase their market share."
"Falken Tires has long enjoyed a devoted international fan base in motorsports," Richard Smallwood, president and CEO for Falken Tires, said in a statement. "This brand alliance with Major League Baseball will help introduce Falken Tires to millions of new customers. We're excited about our new partnership and look forward to aligning our fan bases as we introduce innovative products and our brand to additional audiences."
"Pairing with one of the most popular sports in the world is a great opportunity for Falken Tires to grow and expand into new markets."
Beginning with the 2016 MLB season, Falken said MLB marketing support would include multiple promotional opportunities, fan giveaways, virtual signage behind home plate and branded in-game enhancements for nationally broadcasted games, including the All-Star Game, post-season World Series.
The deal gives Falken Tires access to MLB marks and logos for broadcast, print and digital use during these events.
"We look forward to collaborating with Major League Baseball as we expand our brand awareness and sports marketing portfolio," said Smallwood. "Pairing with one of the most popular sports in the world is a great opportunity for Falken Tires to grow and expand into new markets."
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