Sports Marketing: How Makita Uses Soccer and Racing to Engage its Customer Base

Mexico Fans

Soccer online retailer SOCCER.COM and Makita USA last week announced their Seventh Annual El Tricolor Contest. "Makita's active sponsorship of the Mexican National Team (MNT), as well as Major League Soccer (MLS), is a key part of the company's effort to integrate the Makita brand into the life and passions of the Hispanic contractor," says Raquel Portillo, senior marketing specialist, emerging markets at Makita. We interviewed Portillo to ask her how Makita uses sports to reach and engage its customer base.

Hispanic Customers and their Passion

Mexico FansMakita, the Japanese manufacturer of professional and consumer power tools, realized the importance of the Hispanic PRO contractor in early 2006. Raquel Portillo tells Portada that Makita noticed that "they would be buying more tools tomorrow than today. During our long investment with Hispanics, it became clear they are passionate about soccer. Here at Makita we engineer best-in-class power tools, and we also integrate our brand in areas of passion for our customers off the job site. We engage our customer where they work on jobsites across America, where they learn through dealers and various media, and where they play -- and this is where soccer comes in. Many Hispanic contractors are passionate soccer fans, so Makita is an active sponsor of the Mexican National Team and also Major League Soccer. And just as we help contractors build their dreams with tools that help them be more productive and work more efficiently, and therefore have more time off the job site, we also use Makita's involvement in soccer to deliver one-of-a-kind experiences to Hispanic contractors, like getting on the playing field with the Mexican National Team."

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We engage our customer where they work on jobsites across America, and where they play -- and this is where soccer comes in.

World Cup Insights

To Portillo, "World Cup Brazil was a clear indicator of the Mexican National Team brand's high profile. The Mexican National Team has some of the most passionate fans in the world and, even at matches far from the home country, fans fill the stands to cheer on their team. Leading up to Brazil 2014 we witnessed a true case of "soccer fever" as the team's loyal fans filled football stadiums across the USA at pre-World Cup matches. Portillo is particularly interested in the opportunities related to matches (friendlies) and other events leading up to the Soccer World Cup: "There’s an abundance of opportunity that can be done leading up to World Cup and we will continue to investigate areas where we can leverage the world's most widely viewed sporting event."


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REGISTRATION AT SUPER EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT EXPIRES TOMORROW TUESDAY 6/30/COB! Combo Ticket (Hispanic Sports Marketing Forum and 9th Annual Hispanic Advertising and Media Conference for only US$ 399! Register at Super Early Bird by using the Code SMF.

Retail Promotions for Copa Centenario

makitaThe Copa America Tournament currently being played until July 4 in Chile is the prelude to Copa America Centenario next year in the United States. Copa Centenario will be a celebration of the centenary of CONMEBOL and Copa América, and is to be the first Copa América hosted outside of South America. Guillermo Abud, VP Digital Director, Head of Programmatic for Multicultural at Mediavest noted in a recent article that "Copa America Centenario is an intriguing opportunity for advertisers. The games will air in prime on the Univision family of networks and take place within the United States which allows for large video audiences. "For Makita retail promotions will be important. "As the Official Sponsor of the Mexican National Team Makita Power Tools plans to maximize this tournament by doing promotions that are lucrative to our customer in retail," says Portillo.
Portillo adds that Makita has been a "proud sponsor of the Mexican National Team and Major League Soccer for over eight years now." Throughout the period of the ongoing partnership, Portillo has seen Hispanics migrate. "They are no longer residing in the traditional Hispanic markets but we’ve seen a change in new emerging markets such as North Carolina, Minnesota, Atlanta and more. We see the Mexican National Team as a vehicle that touches Hispanics because when the Mexican National Team is playing this unites Hispanics in the United States for 90 minutes and for Makita this is vital as we want to continue to integrate our brand in areas of passion for our customers."

Product Placement in Off-Road Racing

Like Makita does for targeting the Hispanic segment, the company also uses off job-site activities to target the "general" population. Says Portillo: "We reach contractors through action sports and live racing, like the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, and through cooperative efforts with other dynamic brands in these spaces, like Rockstar Energy. In the case of off-road racing there is real synergy in our sponsorship efforts, as Makita tools are used in the pits by the skilled mechanics of top race teams on race day, in clear view of race fans. This is genuine and authentic product placement that resonates with anyone who uses power tools!"

...and the role of Social Media and Influencer Marketing

For Makita, influence and engagement takes place at several points of contact. Portillo notes that these points of contact include, "Dealer partners who sell Makita tools, and top contractors who use Makita on job sites. Both can exert influence and advocacy through example and word-of-mouth. Another influencer is a sponsored athlete like Brian Deegan, a true action sports icon and currently a top off road and rally car racer with a large and loyal following, and his race teams use Makita Tools. Of course, print and online media and social media channels are vital points of contact with our audience.

We also see blogs and independent online tool reviews continuing to grow as an important source of influence.

Note: Wayne Hart, Communications Manager, Makita USA, supported Raquel Portillo, Senior Marketing Specialist, Makita USA answering some of Portada's questions.


Join us at PORTADA New York!

REGISTRATION AT SUPER EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT EXPIRES TOMORROW TUESDAY 6/30/COB! Combo Ticket (Hispanic Sports Marketing Forum and 9th Annual Hispanic Advertising and Media Conference for only US$ 399! Register at Super Early Bird by using the Code SMF.


Editorial Staff

Portada Staff

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