Alliance Truck Parts driving growth ‘momentum’ with NASCAR partnership

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MIAMI, Fla. — It’s been a banner year for Alliance Truck Parts, the all-makes, private label parts brand of Daimler Trucks North America, and one that has seen them literally off to the races.

Coming into 2011 with a full product line, but with customers unsure of who the company was or what they stood for, Alliance opted to kick off a campaign to create some attention, said John O’Leary, senior vice-president of parts and service at Daimler Trucks North America, at a press event in Miami on Nov. 19.

The goal of the Momentum campaign was threefold: to fill in product line gaps with an “assault” of new product launches, to offer dealer support like never before, and to create visibility with its target demographic.

In order to zero in on that demographic, Alliance conducted an owner/operator survey to find a common thread. The result? Alliance found a huge segment of its customer base – some 70% – counting themselves among the 75 million NASCAR fans across Canada and the US.

Armed with this information, and knowing NASCAR junkies to be among the most brand-loyal fans in all of sports (three times as likely to purchase sponsor products as casual sports fans, according to O’Leary), Alliance decided it was high-time they sponsored a stock car on the circuit with the help of Penske Racing. Given Daimler’s existing relationship with Penske Truck Leasing, DTNA’s largest customer, teaming up with Penske Racing was “hard to turn down,” O’Leary said.

The new partnership got underway in April, with Sam Hornish, Jr. manning the #12 ATP Dodge at a race in Dallas. Since then, Hornish, Jr., a former Indy racing star and winner of the 2006 Indianapolis 500, has turned out solid performances for Alliance this year, including a seventh place finish during the press event in Miami and a first place finish in Phoenix the week before.

In addition to the sponsored car, Alliance also lent its name to the ATP 250 at the Michigan International Speedway this summer, attracting some 70,000 fans at the event and 2.2 million watching from home.

Other NASCAR-themed features of the Momentum campaign, with the apt slogan “A pit crew in every part,” include its Victory Lane Sweepstakes, ATP gift cards, mobile marketing (via Alliance’s Trucker Net app and YouTube video) and increased visibility via trade shows and trade advertising.

The end result of Alliance’s endeavours has seen revenues surge 19% over the past year.

“2011 has been a success. Our Web sites have garnered a 500% increase in traffic and we have four times the number of press mention as in any previous year,” O’Leary said. “We have generated millions of dollars in media exposure from our NASCAR publicity. We have seen great redemption activity on our ATP gift cards. We have entertained tens of thousands with our mobile marketing; entertained hundreds with our trackside activities; built our product line significantly; seen revenues of ATP grow almost 20%; and helped to lift Daimler Trucks North America’s share of the HD parts aftermarket by 2%.”

So where do they go from here? O’Leary says that “2012 promises to be the Year of Alliance,” with further product launches, even more racing, new Web sites and tools, and further dealer engagement, in order to “keep our competition guessing and customers happier than they have ever been.”

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