Thinking outside the box is something many people wish their company would encourage. Fortunately for Stan Chen, senior manager of events and sponsorships of Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp., he has the ability to get creative every day.
“Being a part of Toyo has allowed me to be creative in offering new programs,” says Chen. “Shutter Space is one such program I had implemented beginning last year, combining photography and modified cars to bring the passion of both worlds together in a two-part program.”
Part one of Shutter Space is a photo contest via social media where people can submit photos based on a set theme. The second part showcases the finalists’ photos. The images are printed, displayed in a gallery, and one is selected to be featured in Superstreet magazine.
Chen got his first taste of the automotive industry when he opened a tuning shop called DTM Autohaus right out of college in 2000. In 2004, after realizing his passion for marketing, Chen sold the company and joined Toyo on the event marketing team. He’s been there ever since.
“I’m constantly talking and emailing with car and truck builders, learning about their projects and how Toyo can be a part of them,” says Chen. “I work closely with my other marketing team members to provide as much support as possible, whether it’s sourcing a vehicle for an ad or assisting on a sales promotion with a customer through one of our sponsorships.”
One major sponsorship Chen pushed for was in 2006 when he worked to make Toyo the Official Tire of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
“It was something that I initiated, negotiated and presented to upper management,” says Chen. “It was something way off from anything we or any competitor has ever done. We committed to the partnership and have been with them for over 10 years now.”
For Chen, the daily challenge is what he likes most about the industry.
“To most people, tires are just black, round and rubber. To be successful, it comes down to technology, sales and of course marketing in order to get you to the top,” says Chen. “The daily challenges of trying to find out what the new trends are from a sponsorship side, to dealing with passionate car/truck builders and learning about their builds, help make my days enjoyable.”
Fun Fact: Chen loves to tinker and ride old motorcycles and hopes to one day take a ride along the French Riviera.