Kelly Sumner got her start in NASCAR, working with Roush Racing as marketing coordinator of merchandising.
The desire to be closer to home led Sumner to American Tire Distributors, where she was hired in 2011 as media buyer. In 2013, she was promoted to northeast marketing manager of Tire Pros.
Sumner says she’s taken some lessons with her from NASCAR to her new career.
“The environments are very much the same…. These guys work in shops and they work on cars and their days are busy. The racetrack, same thing. You adapt to your environment,” she says. “I’m not always their first priority, so adapting to our environment is key.”
As a marketing coordinator, Sumner helps Tire Pros dealers manage their B2C marketing at a shop level and regionally.
“We do manager region group marketing efforts and strategizing those efforts…. We have dealers come together, and we have to get them on the same page. Maybe 15 different dealers group together their funds and find a media avenue that works for everyone,” she shares.
Sumner has helped facilitate Tire Pros deals with the New York Yankees, the Pac 12, Big 12, Big 10, ACC, SEC Network, and MSG (Madison Square Garden properties).
“Were really trying to build that higher level for our dealers so that there is exposure that they are a part of this larger franchise,” she says. “It is hard to make 730 people happy. And I know all of my peers feel that pressure as well. I think it’s a shared pressure that we all work on while trying to find the right vehicle to reach as many households and fingertips, to make sure that [our dealers] are a part of that considered purchase.”
Fun Fact: Sumner goes to kick-boxing along with her 8-year-old daughter. “We’ve kick-boxed together for about a year now. It’s so sweet when she gets in there and shows her toughness,” she says.