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Sports marketing lifts Makita

Toolmaker Makita USA credited its off-the-beaten path marketing strategy as one reason for the company’s relative sales strength. Rather than invest in Nascar and NFL, the power tool manufacturer has chosen to spend marketing dollars in what it calls “highly targeted sports: dirt bike racing and soccer.”

“We looked for sports where we could enjoy a major presence and be meaningful to the passionate fans,” said Makita vp-marketing Ken Hefley.

The company said the marketing strategy is paying off. North American sales for Japan-based Makita increased 9.6 percent for the year, to 56.422 billion yen (US$493 million). Makita USA said it posted a double-digit increase in sales compared to the power tool category for the same year.

Targeting an audience of 18-to-35-year-old pro tradesmen, the company created Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki. At the same time, Makita views its relationship with Majo League Soccer as a bridge to the growing base of Hispanic contractors, an important demographic for the company.

In its most recent promotion, Makita is promoting the “Makita Building America’s Soccer Stadiums,” a program designed to make Makita the “tool brand of choice” for the construction of soccer-specific stadiums.

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