The influence of Asian tyre manufacturers in European football is growing and with the return of the UEFA Europa League, one brand at the forefront of this trend is Hankook Tires.
The growth of investment from this industry is illustrated well by looking at European jersey sponsorship. Of the clubs in the top five European leagues over the last three seasons, it is clear to see the growing role of Asian tyre brands in driving the market.
Hankook benefiting from a global stage
Earlier this month, Hankook gave a glimpse into its strategic approach and desire to become the world’s 5th largest tyre company. With brand awareness being a central pillar to those efforts, the South Korean brand’s activation with partners such as the UEFA Europa League remains vital.
Hankook Tires’ sponsorship of the Europa League offers a good example of how tyre manufacturers from South East Asia are benefiting from their partnerships with European football.
The partnership between the South Korean brand and the UEFA Europa League started in 2012 and runs through to at least the tournament’s 2018 final.
Since becoming a UEFA sponsor, Hankook Tires has benefited from the worldwide brand visibility and global television platform the tournament provides, helping the brand to engage new and existing customers as well as its 21,000 employees around the world.
YouTube has been key to Hankook’s success
Where Hankook Tires have been especially successful is in their use of video footage to engage and educate their growing fan base and customer group.
They are the number one tyre brand in terms of YouTube video views, currently with over 56 million views – over 46m views above their nearest rival. In terms of the automotive industry as a whole, this figure takes Hankook into the top 20, alongside brands like Kia, Toyota, Hyundai and BMW.
It is the company’s use of YouTube which has been led in large part by their UEFA Europa League campaigns over the last three years. Hankook’s ‘#B1with’ digital campaign encouraged fans to show their support and demonstrate their emotion and passion for their club alongside the tyre brand. In this way, Hankook were able to both activate their ‘driving emotions’ brand messaging whilst actively engaging with current and potential customers.
The 2014 ‘#B1with’ campaign drove more than 10 million views to the content on the company’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PincdEBxiM) with last season’s activation generating a further 4.8 million views. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_ejDk54fdw).
2014 ‘#B1with’ campaign on YouTube
Why is YouTube such a value platform for brands and rights holders?
Max Barnett, Head of Digital for Repucom in the UK suggests that Hankook Tire’s strategy and use of YouTube specifically was critical for driving engagement for the company’s wider range of products and partnerships. “Hankook are a brand really embracing the power of video content and the number of views their YouTube channel has generated demonstrates that perfectly”, explained Barnett.
“Video is great at engaging an audience and as we’ve seen with Hankook, YouTube is a perfect platform as it allows for a longer content lifecycle whilst encouraging people to view more videos. Having a large subscriber base on YouTube is increasingly important in driving views and engagement especially through mobile, which is an ever growing medium.
“Mobile accounted for nearly two-thirds of the 470 million YouTube views for the 10 most popular video ads on the platform in 2015. As YouTube videos can be shared on other platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, it makes it even more of an important element when deciding on the best activation toolkit to use.
“Understanding the monetary value of these engagements will be key for Hankook moving forward so that they are able to really maximise on this exposure but, more importantly, engage with this base of potential customers. Generating views is one thing, but to actively monetise those relationships will become the next goal in their digital strategy and activation of their partnerships with the likes of the UEFA Europa League.”