Amway Enters Spotlight
ADA — Amway Global is sponsoring the Tina Turner Live 2008 North American Tour as part of a stepped-up marketing strategy to raise awareness of Amway business opportunities and Amway products in North America. At least 36 concerts will be staged in 17 U.S. and Canadian cities beginning Oct. 1, including three performances at Chicago venues on Oct. 3, 4 and 6.
As the presenting sponsor, the Amway Global name will appear on tickets, advertisements and signage at all North American concert venues. The business unit is currently known as Quixtar North America/Amway Global but its name will be shortened to Amway Global and the Quixtar name phased out. Steve Lieberman, managing director of Amway Global, said the company will drop all reference to Quixtar in May of 2009 to correspond with Amway’s 50th anniversary.
“We’re now reintroducing our brands in North America, moving away from Quixtar and going back to the Amway name,” Lieberman explained. “We decided there were a number of roads we had to go down in order to recreate awareness for a brand that, quite frankly, a lot of people felt had gone away.”
The Tina Turner deal is a tour sponsorship, not a product endorsement contract, Lieberman noted. The sponsorship is part of a larger marketing effort the company kicked off in March, when it began promoting the Amway Global business opportunity through print, television and online advertising. Lieberman said the marketing campaign will go on for years.
“It’s the beginning of a planned long-term program. We have the resources and the dedication to make this a large scale success over a long period of time.”
As part of its sponsor package for the Turner tour, the company will get six minutes of ad time before her first and second acts. The ads will present the facts and figures on Amway, as well as showcase the company’s Artistry and Nutrilite brands. The Amway Global name will also be tagged or mentioned on radio and TV spots for the tour.
“Artistry and Nutrilite together make up the No. 1 online retailer in North America for the fifth consecutive year, and Nutrilite is the No. 1 selling vitamin brand in the world,” Lieberman pointed out. “Yet most people have no idea that Amway Global is the company that produces Artistry and Nutrilite.”
Amway hasn’t really done much in the way of public advertising in the past; people typically discovered its products through Amway’s independent business owners, the company’s catalogues, and, later, its online store. The company hasn’t been involved in endorsements for more than a decade either, Lieberman said. There was a period of time in which the corporation sponsored an Indy car and events such as the Chinese Ballet tour in America, for instance.
“I think this would be considered unprecedented,” Lieberman said. “We’re still getting the word out through the IBOs, the Internet and catalogues: None of those have gone away. But the corporation has made the decision to become much more consumer focused, and to be consumer focused, you have to be more visible.”
Amway Global felt becoming more “public” would help it reintroduce its brand name and would assist IBOs because it would be much easier for them to talk to prospective customers about products they’ve already seen advertised, he added.
So how does Tina Turner fit into the game plan?
Lieberman said Turner is an icon with millions of fans. Amway views itself as an iconic brand, and the company has enjoyed longevity in business just as Turner has in her career. He said the company also thought it would be “somewhat unexpected” for Amway Global to sponsor a rock tour of a major international star, and that element of surprise in itself would garner some attention.
The last reason, he said, was to spread the word about the Amway business opportunity to potential new recruits. Young people are often influenced by their parents in regard to business opportunities, Lieberman said, and it’s their parents who are more likely to attend a Turner concert and also remember Amway’s origins.
“We wanted to arm the people of influence with the true facts and figures of the business as it is today,” he explained. “We’re not really a soap company anymore: We’re a major health and beauty company. The tour is just another venue to reach people.”
Lieberman said the company will soon launch a mobile marketing effort to influence greater brand recognition of the Nutrilite and Artistry brands, and he said those efforts will be prevalent at Turner’s concerts.
Amway Global also expects to announce its sponsorship of a national health awareness campaign that will be tied to major events at YMCAs across the country in September, Lieberman said. Additionally, the Artistry brand is sponsoring Skate Canada, and the Nutrilite brand is sponsoring cross-Canadian soccer tournaments, with the winning teams representing Canada in the Olympics this year. Other high-profile sponsorships are ahead.
“It’s really a multi-pronged reintroduction of our brand across lots of vehicles to get the message across, because we’re very proud of who we are and what we do,” Lieberman added.