Business

Chester's Giti Tire fires up branding effort with Rose Parade sponsorship

Giti Tire is the official tire sponsor for the 127th annual Rose Bowl Parade. Last year’s parade with floats such as this one from the City of Los Angeles drew more than 53 million television viewers in the United States and 28 million internationally.
Giti Tire is the official tire sponsor for the 127th annual Rose Bowl Parade. Last year’s parade with floats such as this one from the City of Los Angeles drew more than 53 million television viewers in the United States and 28 million internationally. TNS

A while ago I suggested that Giti Tire add some boom-shaka-laka to its branding efforts.

What better way to reach local residents than by trading paint on the region’s dirt tracks while running on Giti Tires?

I never heard back from the Giti folks. Maybe they didn’t like the idea.

Instead of dirt, Giti will launch its U.S. and Canadian branding efforts surrounded by roses as the official tire sponsor of the 127th annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif.

Don’t expect to see a float with a giant Giti tire or the company’s signature elephant. But Giti is the sponsor of the “Decorating Places” the next best, maybe better, place to observe the parade floats.

The Decorating Places are where the floats get their final work as a variety of seeds, bark, fruits and vegetables, grasses and flowers are applied.

It’s not an easy job. Volunteers lie on their backs to apply flowers to the underside of the wings of giant birds and other creatures. Others climb high to reach the top of the floats. And, it’s not uncommon for those touring the barns to be asked to lend a hand. Barrel after barrel of flowers needs to be prepared. It’s a frantic race to have the floats ready in the early hours of the first day of the year for the annual parade.

The barns are open from Dec. 27 to Dec. 31. Admission is by ticket. Giti plants to have large tents at the three barns with plenty of Giti marketing items to give away. A social media contest may also be part of their efforts.

Giti approached the Rose Parade about becoming a sponsor, said Joseph Anzelmo, Giti’s senior manager marketing, advertising and promotions. Giti launched its new branding campaign because the tires it sells in the U.S. carry other brand names such as GT Radial, Primewell, Dextero and Runway.

“We have many loyal customers that sell our brands in the U.S., but the company itself is not well known with the general public,” said Armand Allaire, executive vice president of sales and marketing.

“We were looking to partner with someone who is held in high regard,” Anzelmo said from the company’s U.S. headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

“We wanted someone who has the same philosophy about its people and about the environment. The Rose Parade was a good fit,” he said.

The parade is one of the most viewed television events to start the New Year. Last year more than 53 million people watched the parade in the U.S., and 28 million more internationally. The theme for this year’s parade is “Find Your Adventure” in conjunction with the U.S. National Parks Service.

The branding campaign will start as Giti continues construction of its plant in Richburg. Workers have cleared the site for the 1.8 million-square-foot plant and Giti recently was awarded the federal air permits it needs.

The plant will make passenger and light-truck tires for the retail market and, possibly, the original equipment market – the automakers.

Giti plans to invest $560 million in a plant that could make 5 million tires annually. The plant is expected to employ about 1,700 people.

No boom-shaka-laka, just the sweet smell of roses for Giti. Either way, it’s a great way to start Giti’s adventure as it joins the tire kingdom of South Carolina.

Don Worthington: 803-329-4066, dworthington@heraldonline.com, @rhherald_donw

Giti supplier meeting

Giti Tire is holding an event Wednesday for companies wanting to know more about Giti’s non-construction needs.

The event is 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Gateway Conference Center in Richburg.

There is no preregistration. Companies officials are encouraged to bring business cards to leave with Giti officials. Interest in the meeting has been high, said Karlisa Parker, director of Chester County economic development. She expects attendance to be bigger than events for construction firms that attracted more than 300 interested companies.

The event is for non-construction suppliers and will provide attendees with information regarding typical sourcing areas for a tire plant, an overview of the company's vendor registration process and its commitment to diversity.

The Gateway Conference Center is at 3200 Commerce Drive in Richburg, just off Interstate 77. For information, contact Karlisa Parker at 803-377-1216.

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