With the partnership between Monster Energy and Kawasaki halfway through its’ first year, Kawasaki’s Marketing Director Bruce Stjernstrom sat down to discuss how the relationship has been going.
Q: The partnership with Monster Energy has been in effect for over six months now. Can you describe how it’s been going on the racing side from the professional teams all the way to the amateurs?
B.S.: The Monster Energy Kawasaki relationship has been in the making for over a year. Everyone agreed that it was a great idea. The colors obviously work great for them and us with the lime green and black. It was a matter sorting out what we were going to do. Monster Energy wanted to include all the racing teams and we wanted to do that as well. It seems like we have been doing it a lot longer than we have been but it just took awhile for it to come together.
I think from both sides it is a good marriage. The relationship is good. The product is good. I think it works well for us and it works well for them too.
Q: So in terms of Monster Energy, have they expressed how the relationship has been going so far?
B.S.: Well they have been working with the Pro Circuit team for a couple of years. They felt that motocross/supercross was a big part of their marketing program. They were really positive about that and felt strongly about how important that was for them. The relationship with us started out of that. They were interested, not only in our 450 team but with road racing, off-road, drag racing, our new ATV team, and Team Green™ as well. Even though motocross was their first experience with motorcycle racing, they were excited about expanding that whole thing into the other venues.
Q: Do you think its boosting the appeal for both Kawasaki and Monster Energy?
B.S.: Well, I can answer for Kawasaki. I know that there are a lot of people that are aware of Monster Energy and have been attracted to our team because of it. Within the industry, I think people look at Monster Energy as a real viable product and a company that is a good fit for our industry. Obviously there have been other energy drinks that have been involved with our industry but Monster Energy has been a big player in our industry and their industry too. I think Kawasaki’s racing program is something that gives them a really strong anchor in our industry. It’s a great mix because our audience is skewed young and theirs is skewed young as well.
Q: Some manufactures don’t have title sponsors and Kawasaki has decided to share its name. Why do you think that some people don’t decide to share their name?
B.S.: A few years ago we had a similar relationship with Chevy Trucks. And obviously General Motors is a big company. We had a great relationship with them. Also, it gave us a lot of experience in how to work with a title sponsor and know how to make it successful for both sides. We had a five year relationship with GM, which was pretty good. Coming into this relationship, I think it helped us determine how we wanted this relationship to work and how we thought it would help them.
It’s important to understand that we not only work for Kawasaki but we work for Monster Energy too. It’s an important part of our racing teams. Monster Energy is putting a lot into our teams, not just financially but also with commitment to promotions and marketing. I think it’s been good as far as helping generate a lot of awareness for our racing teams and our company. The value of having Monster Energy as our title sponsor has really been their commitment to us. That’s what we were looking for in a partnership when we put this whole thing together.
Q: Is there anything new that will be happening with the group?
B.S.: When we began working on this relationship, there were some things that seemed to happen last minute. Now that we have had some time to work together, we are just going to streamline how we are going to do things, prioritize the efforts we put into it and get the best value for our joint efforts. That’s our main goal for next year.