From the Factory Worker to the Consumer: Ansell Successfully Activates Retail Initiative Through an ARCA RE/MAX Series Sponsorship Program
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Ansell Healthcare LLC
111 Wood Avenue South, Suite 210
Iselin, NJ, 08830
Press release date: August 24, 2009
Red Bank, NJ (August 24, 2009)--Ansell may be 100 years old, but the company is anything but stagnant. The world's largest manufacturer of protective gloves and clothing has shaken things up this fiscal year, extending from the industrial sector to retail thanks to a partnership between Ansell, Menards Home Improvement Stores and the Automobile Racing Club of America.
In February, Ansell and Menards announced co-primary sponsorship of the No. 44 Kimmel Racing Team and nine-time ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion Frank Kimmel. The partnership allowed the 100 year old company - noted for manufacturing everything from safety apparel to condoms - to extend its line of hand protection gloves into the retail sector, providing a positive example of successful sponsorship activation within motor sports via the ARCA RE/MAX Series.
Prior to their 2009 foray into the ARCA RE/MAX Series, Ansell gloves were available exclusively in industrial settings-primarily to automotive factory workers worldwide who had a need for superior protection and safety in the work place. After punching out the time clock at the end of the day, workers left behind their Ansell Gloves and drastically diminished their chances of staying safe while working on home improvement projects or maintaining their vehicles.
That's no longer the case. Currently, each of the nation's 245 Menard's Home Improvement Stores offers an expansive line of Ansell Hand Protection Products to consumers, including the Ansell HyFlex® brand, which has become the number one selling work glove around the world and offers cut and/or abrasion resistance, the AlphaTEC® Chemical-Resistant Brand and the Sol-Vex® Brand. Ansell's in store Hand Protection Center has been developed to not only provide the Menard's customer base with exposure to Ansell's superior product line, but also improve the customer's ability to choose the right glove for their application. The Ansell Hand Protection Center will improve customers' abilities to choose the right glove and the right level of protection for the job. Products are color coded according to five specific "Duty Levels" designed to help consumers easily and quickly select the most appropriate level of protection:
Ansell's retail launch into Menards has been complimented by Frank Kimmel Autograph Signings and No. 44 Ansell-Menards Ford Fusion Show Car appearances at Menards Locations surrounding ARCA RE/MAX Series race events.
The results so far have been positive; numerous key customers across a variety of industries have commented as to the improvement in glove performance available to them at Menards, as well as the improved "shopability" of the Hand Protection Center itself. "I want to try those on" and "I know exactly what I am buying" are the common points of feedback associated with customer's first interaction with the Ansell Hand Protection Center.
In addition to success on retail shelves, Ansell and Menards have found a winning combination on the racetrack in 2009. Midway through the initial season of their co-sponsorship, Ansell and Menards have helped propel driver Frank Kimmel towards several career milestones: He is just six laps shy of reaching 10,000 competitive laps led and is closing in on the record for most career wins in the history of the 57-year-old ARCA RE/MAX Series. Kimmel is considered ARCA's "Franchise Player" and is the all-time active leader in the categories of championships won, career earnings, laps led, superspeedway pole awards, top-5 finishes, top-10 finishes and superspeedway challenge championships.
The sponsor's activation initiatives have included internal promotions, fan-friendly contests and social networking outreach aimed at ensuring a successful motorsports sponsorship and retail product launch.
To promote their ARCA RE/MAX Series/Menards/Kimmel motorsports sponsorship on an internal basis, the company launched the Ansell Race for the Record Scratch-Off Promotion, a trade promotion open to individuals employed by authorized distributors, sellers and retailers of Ansell Protective Products. The program was designed to recognize Kimmel's 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series race season and his quest to become the Series' all-time winner. The scratch off ticket winners had a chance to instantly win Ansell Cut Protection Gloves, autographed racing gloves worn by Frank Kimmel, Ansell t-shirts and Ansell hats.
Ansell has launched an Ansell Racing Website (http://www.ansellracingus.com) and an Ansell Racing Twitter account (@AnsellRacingUSA) that has already grown to include close to 6,000 followers. The site is updated with unique promotions and contests for race fans and potential race fans/glove consumers. In addition, Ansell has maintained a page on ARCA's Social Networking Website (http://www.arcanation.com).
As part of their ARCA RE/MAX Series sponsorship program, Ansell will further extend their reach into the motorsports sector on August 28 with a foray into race event sponsorship-The Ansell Cut Protection 150 at Chicagoland Speedway, race 15 of the 21-race ARCA RE/MAX Series. The company hopes that the race weekend will provide an opportunity to introduce a whole new segment of race fans to the Ansell line of hand protection products.
At Chicagoland, up to 75,000 race fans will have the opportunity to experience a unique, interactive display area that includes show cars, driver appearances and product displays. Kimmel, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Matt Crafton and IndyCar driver Ed Carpenter are among the drivers who will make appearances in the Ansell display area on race weekend. All three drivers are sponsored by Menards and the Menards ARCA RE/MAX Series partnership with Ansell as the sole catalyst in securing their appearance in the Ansell Display Area. Race fans will also be able to participate in interactive demonstrations such as the "Apple Cut Demo", the "DuPont Torture Chamber" and the "Science & Technology (S&T) Dexterity Test".
And of course, Ansell's race event sponsorship will translate to the race track as well via Kimmel and the No. 44 Ansell-Menards Ford Fusion. The Ansell Cut Protection 150 rolls off at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Live on SPEED.
Celebrating more than 100 years, Ansell has long been recognized for the innovations and leadership it has provided the hand protection and safety apparel industry. Besides high quality products, the company offers a comprehensive business solutions approach to help manufacturers achieve their cost reduction mandates. Ansell personal protective clothing (PPC) specialists work directly with corporate and plant representatives to develop highly effective programs with quantifiable results.
With its regional U.S. headquarters located in Red Bank, New Jersey and with operations in Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Australia, Ansell serves a wide range of industries, including chemical manufacturing and refining, automotive, food processing, general industrial, pharmaceutical, pulp and paper, construction, white goods, semiconductor and electronics manufacturing, and primary metals.
For more information about Ansell's strategic business solutions and portfolio of protective gloves and apparel, visit www.ansellpro.com or call 800.800.0444.