Mike, you should start with a bump map.
If you have to get really close or see the logo in silhouette then you may have to use a displacement map.
There is also normal map but like bump this does not actually displace the geometry, it's a trick of light and shadow, plus you must have a hires surface with the detail you wish to bake into the lowres model to start.
Create a texture map in PS with 50% grey as the background. Anything you want to push in make darker then 50% anything you want to push out make lighter. If you want to bevel the emboss then apply a Gaussian blur filter. If there is only a single object depth then just go white, 50% grey, and black.
You then plug this into the maya node bump channel or the mentalray node overall bump channel.
Here is something that might help you. Note the text on the tire: