Vector speeds into big-time marketing with sponsorship

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Thursday, July 1, 2004

PITTSBURGH - Vector Security has sped up its marketing efforts with a newly minted NASCAR sponsorship deal to increase awareness of the alarm company and its authorized dealer network.

Vector is one of a several security companies to jump into the sports marketing arena over the past year. CPI Security Systems, another regional company, sponsored the National Football League’s Carolina Panthers for the team’s 2003 season and ADT signed a three-year agreement to sponsor the American Football League. ADT is also active in the racing game - it is the title sponsor of the #38 Audi R8, which runs in the American LeMans Series.

“We are trying to get our name around,” said Dave Merrick, Vector’s marketing director. “It’s also nice for us to do something like this for the industry.”

And it can’t hurt the industry or Vector that races attract roughly 130,000 people - an additional two to three million people watch televised races from their homes.

The sponsorship covers a number of races within Vector’s service area across the East Coast, focusing specifically on ones held within the company’s authorized dealer territory. As of press time, the company had sponsored four races in Charlotte, N.C., Richmond, Va., Dover, Del. and Nazareth, Pa., and may look at being involved in more throughout the season.

The company’s dealer program, which focuses on the residential market, is currently made up of 42 installers located throughout the eastern United States. Both Merrick and John Madden, vice president of Vector’s authorized dealer division, said the company is looking to add more at a controlled rate. “We are selective with the type of people we bring in,” Madden said, “but we’re also searching for areas that make sense.”

Madden also mentioned that the company does not want to “overcrowd the market with dealers.” It’s a mistake other companies have made in the past that Vector does not want to follow. “We want to make sure we’re bringing forward the right people,” Madden said.

The NASCAR marketing move may make suitable companies look at Vector as a possible partnership opportunity. Madden said current dealers have played an active role in the NASCAR races. Some were brought in to assist with autograph sessions and promote the sponsorship.

“We treat our dealers as a partnership,” Madden said. “We want them to be part of our team and that’s why we got our dealers involved.”