Advent is a time for parcels. LIQUI MOLY has put together a package of measures of a special dimension. The German motor oil and additive specialist is investing several million euro in advertising at winter sports events. “This brings our brand into living rooms all over the world, including to those people who do not yet know LIQUI MOLY,” says Managing Director Ernst Prost. One highlight is the TV ratings hit between Christmas and New Year: the Four Hills Tournament.
The good news: The Four Hills Tournament will take place at the turn of the year. The bad news: Due to the pandemic lockdown, there will be no spectators on site for the first time in 68 years. “Of course, it’s a great pity. But at least the competition will be held. Many other sports events have already been canceled,” says LIQUI MOLY Managing Director Ernst Prost. This makes media presence all the more important for the company.
As in the previous two years, LIQUI MOLY is the main sponsor of the traditional Four Hills Tournament. The company logo will be practically omnipresent at the events in Oberstdorf, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Innsbruck and Bischofshofen. It is mounted on hoardings, in the warm-up area, at the start and on the press backdrop. During the final jumping competition in Bischofshofen, LIQUI MOLY will also adorn the athlete’s race number bibs as well as the interview wall and the award ceremony wall. “This gives us great brand visibility – not only in Germany, but worldwide,” emphasizes Ernst Prost.
The Four Hills Tournament is not the only major event with LIQUI MOLY. The brand covers the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup, the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships, the FIS Nordic Ski World Championships, the IBSF World Cup and World Championship in bobsleigh and skeleton, and the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. “This large range ensures that there is something for every viewer,” says Ernst Prost. LIQUI MOLY will have a continuous presence right into May.
Ernst Prost is convinced that, due to the pandemic, there will be no competitions as usual, not this year and certainly not in 2021 either. Events in halls are much harder to implement than those outside. This year’s Ice Hockey World Championship and Champions Hockey League were canceled. LIQUI MOLY would have been an advertising partner at both events. There is also a contract for the 2021 World Championship. But it is still written in the stars whether the puck hunters will be able to chase the World Championship trophy. Despite Covid-19, the lubricant manufacturer is meeting all of its sponsorship agreements. “We are a partner with whom you can go through thick and thin. Moreover, we see the crisis as an opportunity. For this reason, we have significantly expanded our marketing measures since April, so we have not gone on the defensive, but rather the offensive,” the Managing Director explains. More work is being done and more employees are being hired. By the beginning of December, there had been 101 new hires. “It’s like sport. If the opponent weakens, it is important to convert this into your own advantage. That’s exactly what we do.”
LIQUI MOLY regards winter sports as an important component of its marketing and an excellent supplement to the motorsports commitment. This keeps the brand visible even after the motorsports season is over. Ernst Prost: “We have always had very good TV coverage with our winter sports commitments so far. This is what we expect again this season.”
The Managing Director explains how important the media reach is for LIQUI MOLY: “Our products are available in more than 150 countries. Individual local events can help us increase brand awareness on site, but only to a limited extent. We get a much broader impact and more attention with events that are broadcast around the world. For wide and long roads, you don’t just use a snow shovel, you send out a snowplow.”
LIQUI MOLY always pays attention to where the winter sports events are held. The company recently founded its own subsidiary in France. In Italy, this step was taken a little earlier. Ernst Prost: “With the events taking place there, we have a huge opportunity for successful brand development and expansion.” The North American market is served by competitions at Lake Louise, Canada. The US subsidiary, which is also responsible for business in Canada, is developing beautifully and has the potential to outrank Russia as the largest export market. In Scandinavia, the Ulm-based company has also long been on the road to success. “Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden are thoroughly enthusiastic about winter sports. We are meeting this interest with slalom and ski jumping competitions in Finland,” says Ernst Prost.
According to Managing Director Ernst Prost, the enormous financial outlay is not an end in itself, but rather supports the partners in the respective countries and regions. “If we boost retail sales because LIQUI MOLY is now also a familiar term for many winter sports fans, then we have done everything right.”