TO THE EDITOR:
David Undercoffler's article ("Hyundai's False Start," July 10) did not provide a balanced look at Hyundai's NFL partnership and our marketing strategy that has evolved for the modern shopper. The unnamed sources in the article clearly don't have the complete picture.
Hyundai is entering its third season as the official car and SUV of the most popular sports league in the country, which counts 187 million people as fans. A significant part of our integrated NFL programming is constant evaluation of the relationship and the impact it has on our brand.
In just two seasons, we've achieved substantial awareness of our sponsorship among NFL fans and those fans have a much higher opinion, consideration and purchase intent for Hyundai:
- 34 percent sponsorship awareness.
- No. 1 awareness among automotive companies.
- 67 percent of fans who are aware consider Hyundai for a purchase.
- 77 percent of consumers who visited a Hyundai NFL activation said they would consider buying a Hyundai as their next vehicle.
During the Super Bowl, the NFL's marquee event, our programs have been among the most successful. In 2016, we were the first car company to win the USA Today Ad Meter and had two other ads in the top six. Earlier this year, our Operation Better campaign racked up 74 million video views, generated more than 2,000 media stories and was named the most effective spot by Adweek. And this year's emotional reunion and tribute to our military wouldn't have been possible without our NFL deal as we used game footage in the ad and shot part of it from inside the stadium.
When you add that to well-received NFL TV creative featuring some of our partner teams and the more than 3 million people we've directly engaged with at experiential activations at the Super Bowl, NFL Draft, Kickoff celebration, NFL combine, the seven local teams we sponsor and our free Youth Camp program in the summer, the data look quite favorably on our partnership.
The origin story of the Hyundai and NFL deal is not unlike the negotiations that take place for any sponsorship of this size and prominence. The inclusion of Genesis as the official luxury car turned out to be the right strategic choice as we were able to launch our all-new luxury brand on one of the biggest stages in the world, something no other first-year brand ever gets to do.
It's also important to address how the NFL partnership fits into Hyundai's overall marketing strategy.
This isn't news to anyone, but the car-buying landscape has rapidly evolved. The digital revolution is here. Consumers today have 24 touch points before buying a car and 19 of those are digital or mobile. They are visiting only 1.6 showrooms on average and their decision is largely made before ever setting foot in a retail location.
This reality requires a new approach to marketing. At a national level, we are focused on brand building and our "Better Drives Us" mantra. At Hyundai, we believe everyone deserves better and we are focused on that throughout the entire organization — from our vehicles, to technology innovations, to "acts of better" like the recent Super Bowl campaign. We are redefining how TV leads consumers to digital as they want to learn more about us during their shopping experience.
Online, we are engaging with customers by providing them with Hyundai messaging along their journey through search, content partners, paid digital, social and many other tactics. These mid- and lower-funnel activities are critical to moving Hyundai up the consideration list and delivering information on everything our product lineup has to offer.
Despite these changes in consumer behavior the one thing that remains constant is the importance of our dealer network.
We are dedicated to keeping our retailers at the heart of how we connect with customers in this new environment. We believe that more successful and profitable dealers enhance the customer experience.
Our data show that this strategy is gaining momentum in a tough sales environment. Opinion and consideration for Hyundai are increasing and consumers see us as a brand on the rise.
We regularly communicate with our dealers to help them navigate this new world and convert leads to sales. Momentum takes time to influence and that's why this long-term strategy and partnerships, like the NFL, offer us a powerful platform with the reach and frequency required to make a real change.
Together, we are going to make things better for our customers and stake out a leadership position as the car business that we all love undergoes its most dramatic transformation yet.
DEAN EVANS, Chief Marketing Officer, Hyundai Motor America