TE Connectivity is using a mix of traditional and nontraditional properties to build awareness, drive revenue and recruit talent.

Those include the Andretti Formula E team, digital influencers and rLoop, a team competing in Elon Musk’s hyperloop high-speed transit project.

TE Connectivity, which changed its name from Tyco Electronics in 2011, markets sensors and connectors for the automotive, communications and other industries.

As such, product integration plays a key role in the company’s sponsorship strategy.

TE Connectivity uses its partnership with Andretti Autosport to demonstrate its technology in the harsh environment of racing, with a focus on how it provides a total technology solution for B2B customers and prospects.

The company provides the team with a rotating engineer every six months. The engineer is charged with two tasks: improving on-track performance and using the car as an innovation lab on wheels.

TE Connectivity activates the tie by hosting prospects and customers at Formula E races around the world. The events feature discussions on TE’s involvement with the team followed by a tour of the race paddock and an inspection of the car.

“It’s an opportunity for clients and prospects to go behind the scenes, open up the hood and see a hundred TE Connectivity products in the vehicle,” said Jared Melzer, TE Connectivity director of strategic sponsorships and social media.

Melzer joined TE Connectivity in 2015 after working at Farmers Insurance. There, Melzer served as the lead on the insurer’s NASCAR program and other sponsorships.

“To create a sponsorship department from the ground up is an exciting challenge, and something I’m fortunate to be part of,” said Melzer, who took on the additional role of overseeing TE Connectivity’s social media initiatives shortly after joining the company.

TE Connectivity is beta testing a virtual reality experience around the Formula E team. The VR experience, which will be rolled out next month, features a welcome by Michael Andretti in holographic form, an overview of the technology in the car and two laps around a track.

The company will take the VR experience to sales meetings, showrooms and trade shows around the world, said Melzer.

In addition to showcasing its technology, TE Connectivity uses the VR experience as an employee recruitment tool.

“It speaks to a younger, millennial demographic.”

TE Connectivity also activates the Formula E team with consumer promotions. That includes a promotion that dangled a trip for two to the Andretti race shop in Indianapolis, a behind-the-scenes tour and lunch with race car driver and team owner Michael Andretti.

Like the Formula E team, TE Connectivity uses its sponsorship of the rLoop hyperloop team to demonstrate its technological prowess. The team works on the prototype “pod” out of a TE Connectivity facility in the Silicon Valley, with the company providing engineering and product support.

TE Connectivity was drawn to the sponsorship due to the team’s origin. The rLoop team was crowdsourced from consumers in the Reddit community and represents the only non-university team competing in the hyperloop challenge.

The team worked on the project virtually before relocating to the TE Connectivity facility.

“It’s a special partnership because of the way it came together. It’s a group of people who got together as a community to advance the future of transportation.”

TE Connectivity showcased the team in an online documentary that captured the trials and tribulations of building the hyperloop pod from scratch. The company distributed the videos on YouTube, Wired.com and other online platforms and promoted the content via micro-influencer campaigns.

The videos have been viewed more than 1.2 million times with a completion rate of more than 50 percent, said Melzer, noting that the average viewing time of videos on Facebook is seven seconds.

“A completion rate of more than 50 percent tells us that the content is engaging.”

TE Connectivity this year also is sponsoring “The Science Behind Pixar” exhibition at The Franklin Institute science museum in Philadelphia. The company leveraged the sponsorship with a promotion that offered three students the opportunity to go on a five-day STEM tour in Northern California.

The trip included visits to TE Connectivity, IDEO and other technology companies, the Exploratorium science center and PIXAR Animation Studios.

The winners were selected from students enrolled in The Franklin Institute’s STEM-related youth education programs.