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FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- Gulf Oil, LP today announced it has achieved several significant milestones in its national expansion on the one-year anniversary of acquiring full national rights to the Gulf Oil brand from Chevron Corp.
In the past year, Gulf Oil has rebranded more than 400 service sites and has secured 20 new distribution partners, reaching into 12 new states plus the District of Columbia. Additionally, the company is starting 2011 by converting at least 130 more rebranding commitments in the coming few months. Earlier this week, CSNews Online reported Gulf is partnering with Tri Star Energy of Nashville to return the Gulf brand to the Music City and its surroundings for the first time in 25 years.
The company also noted that support for partners in new markets has been demonstrated on multiple levels, including major league baseball sponsorships for the Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles. Moreover, additional new partnerships are on the horizon.
Gulf Oil has grown its presence to more than 2,500 branded retail locations in 23 states plus the District of Columbia since January 2010.
"The Gulf brand is quickly becoming the premier brand of choice for an on-the-go world," said Gulf Oil CEO Joe Petrowski. "This year was quite successful for building, and in many cases re-building, consumer loyalty for a commodity product. Not an easy task. It is made easier by working with trusted, professional partners who take pride in working with this brand, rooted in nostalgia, to distribute the finest gasoline and petroleum available."
The Gulf Oil brand has been in existence for almost 110 years. Its orange disc logo is one of the most widely recognized company trademarks in the world.
"We are leveraging the legacy. The Gulf brand is truly iconic," said Rick Dery, senior vice president and chief sales and marketing officer of Gulf. "At one time, Gulf was one of the top most recognized brands in the world – across all genres. There is a love for this brand and the benefit a legacy of loyalty brings to the places it goes. With no limitations to what we can do with the brand, we are paving the way of the future by working with a high level group of partners who understand that we're in this together to raise the branding bar again."
Distributors and dealers echo that sentiment. William Kimbro, president of Tri Star Energy, LLC, of Nashville, manages 225 varied sites across Tennessee and now has 21 Gulf stations in Nashville and its surrounding areas, said, "When we saw the announcement a year ago of the Gulf Oil brand returning nationally, we immediately wanted in. Gulf is an iconic brand and had been popular here for many years with a dedicated following. We hope to build upon the heritage of the brand with those who knew it well, and shape its large appeal amongst a strong following of baby boomers that recognize the Gulf ideal." Gulf and Tri Star Energy plan more stations as early as March 2011.
"Our intention is to have the next generation have the same love for the Gulf brand as the last," said Gulf Oil President and COO Ron Sabia. "Gulf is somewhat unique. We consider this as co-branding, as we support and respect what some of the finest locations have already built, and have been doing successfully in their respective communities for decades. Gulf provides brand, heritage, industry's best marketing and promotional strategies and deliverables to our partners. Gulf is a win-win for both."
Petrowski noted that with gas prices so volatile, consumers are well aware of where they shop for petroleum needs, not just by price but also by service, quality, and professionalism. "The retail gasoline marketplace is undergoing historic and fundamental changes. We have adapted well to this new environment and thus have a tremendous opportunity to leverage our unique capabilities as a branded supplier to serve dealers and distributors in a manner that will make their sites successful fueling destinations of the future," Petrowski added.
In 2010, Gulf Oil re-entered the states of Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia.
For the past 20-plus years, Gulf Oil branded gasoline in the continental U.S. had only been available in an 11-state region in the Northeast through a licensing agreement with Chevron U.S.A. Inc.
On January 12, 2010, Gulf Oil L.P. acquired all rights, title and interest to the "Gulf" brand in the U.S. Gulf Oil now controls the right to market the brand throughout the United States and its territories. The acquisition enabled Gulf Oil to expand its use of the Gulf brand throughout the U.S. for the first time since 1986.