Bridgestone Firestone Canada Inc.

Bridgestone Firestone Canada Inc.

March 13, 2008 21:27 ET

Bridgestone Brand Named "The Official Tire of the NHL, NHLPA and HHOF"

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, TORONTO, ONTARIO, and NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE--(Marketwire - March 13, 2008) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the CP picture wire via Marketwire.

The National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) today announced a new global multi-year partnership with Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT) and Bridgestone Firestone Canada Inc. (BFCA) in which the Bridgestone brand will serve as the "Official Tire of the NHL, NHLPA and the Hockey Hall of Fame."

As part of the agreement, the NHL will grant BFNT and BFCA rights to the League's premier trademarks and provide numerous exclusive promotional opportunities throughout the NHL season and beyond, including: the Stanley Cup Playoffs, NHL Draft, NHL Award Show and the 2009 NHL All-Star game. In addition, the Bridgestone brand will be designated as one of four associate sponsors of the international NHL Premiere series. Commitments to the League's controlled media properties NHL.com and NHL Network will help the Bridgestone brand leverage these League platforms.

The Bridgestone brand also will leverage its status as the exclusive tire of the NHL by supporting its NHL and NHLPA partnership with advertising on NHL telecasts in Canada and the U.S. as well as supporting various NHL clubs. Through its partnership with the NHLPA, BFNT's and BFCA's activation will include the use of player images and select player appearances in connection with advertising executions, premiums and point-of-sale materials. The Bridgestone brand will also be a sponsor of the NHLPA's annual Golf Classic.

"The NHL has adopted a leading-edge approach to reaching its fans by developing assets in both new and traditional media, marquee events and grassroot platforms. As a result, we have created more strategic opportunities for our partners to connect with our highly desirable demographic," said Keith Wachtel, NHL Senior Vice President, Corporate Sales & Marketing. "As a premier sports property, we are excited to partner with a leadership brand like Bridgestone."

"This is a terrific opportunity to position the Bridgestone brand with a premiere sports league with a large and very loyal fan base," said Phil Pasci, Vice President of Consumer Tire Marketing, BFNT. "By partnering with the NHL, the NHLPA and the Hockey Hall of Fame we see enormous potential to connect hockey fans across the world with our message: for drivers who want to get the most out of their cars, it's Bridgestone or nothing."

"The NHLPA is excited to be partnering with the Bridgestone brand on a number of exciting platforms," said Mike Ouellet, NHLPA Chief of Business Affairs. "NHLPA members are globally recognized as the world's best hockey players and the Bridgestone group is a global leader in its industry, so bringing together NHL players with this respected brand is a natural partnership."

In addition to its new national partnership with the NHL and the NHLPA, BFNT has entered into numerous high-profile sports sponsorships with the Bridgestone brand, including the Official Tire of the NFL, Official Tire Sponsor of the Super Bowl, NFL Pro Bowl and presenting sponsor of the NFL International Series Game. The Bridgestone brand is also the official tire of the PGA TOUR and sponsors the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational played at the Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. The company's Firestone brand is the Official Tire of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race®, as well as the IndyCar Series and IndyPro Series. BFNT also has local and regional sponsorships with properties such as the Tennessee Titans and Nashville Predators.

About Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC:

Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT) is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc., whose parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the world's largest tire and rubber company. BFNT develops, manufactures and markets Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires. The company is focused on wholesale and original equipment markets, supplying passenger, light truck, commercial vehicle, off the road, motorcycle, agricultural and other tires to its customers in North America.

Bridgestone Firestone Canada Inc.:

Mississauga, Ontario-based Bridgestone Firestone Canada Inc. (BFCA) is an affiliate of Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT). BFCA and Nashville, Tenn.-based BFNT are subsidiaries of Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc., whose parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the world's largest tire and rubber company. BFCA and BFNT develop, manufacture and market Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires. They are focused on wholesale and original equipment markets, supplying passenger, light truck, commercial vehicle, off the road, agricultural and other tires to their customers in Canada and the United States, respectively.

About the NHL:

The National Hockey League, founded in 1917, is the second-oldest of the four major professional team sports leagues in North America. Today, the NHL consists of 30 Member Clubs, each reflecting the League's international makeup, with players from more than 20 countries represented on team rosters. According to a Simmons Market Research study, NHL fans are younger, more educated, more affluent, and access content through digital means more than any other sport. The NHL entertains more than 100 million fans each season in-arena and through its partners in national television (VERSUS, NBC, TSN, CBC, RDS, RIS, NASN, NHL Network and HDNet) and radio (Westwood One and XM Radio). Through the NHL Foundation, the League's charitable arm, the NHL raises money and awareness for Hockey Fights Cancer, Hockey's All-Star Kids and NHL Diversity, and supports the charitable efforts of all NHL players. For more information on the NHL, log on to NHL.com.

About the NHLPA:

The National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) is a labour union whose members are the players in the National Hockey League (NHL). The NHLPA works on behalf of the players in varied disciplines such as labour law, product licensing, marketing, international hockey and community relations. In 1999, the NHLPA launched the Goals & Dreams fund, a $15-million hockey program which is the largest grassroots hockey program in the world. The players' program has donated full sets of hockey equipment to more than 8,000 underprivileged children in 17 countries and assisted with upgrades and the building of hundreds of arenas worldwide. For more information on the NHLPA, please visit nhlpa.com.

NHL is a registered trademark and the NHL Shield is a trademark of the National Hockey League. NHL and NHL team marks are the property of the NHL and its teams. All Rights Reserved.

NHLPA, National Hockey League Players' Association and the NHLPA logo are trademarks of the NHLPA and are used under license.

Contact Information