SOURCE: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

April 10, 2006 17:03 ET

Goodyear Asks America to Name a Blimp and Win It for a Day

For the First Time, New Blimp Launches Without a Name; But Bearing the World's Largest Nametag

AKRON, OH -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 10, 2006 -- For the first time in the 80-year history of its world famous airship program, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: GT) today launched a new blimp without an official name. Instead, the Company unveiled the blimp at its airship base near Akron bearing the world's largest nametag, and launching a nationwide contest to name the new blimp.

The individual submitting the winning entry that ultimately will fill in the blank spot on the recognizable 18' x 12' red and white "Hello My Name Is" nametag will win the Goodyear Blimp for a day in his or her hometown. The "Name The Blimp" contest will culminate with winners being notified on or about June 5th, and the blimp will be christened with the winning name during a high-profile ceremony in Akron later that month.

"We make decisions every day on how we want to use our fleet of Goodyear Blimps," said Chuck Sinclair, Senior Vice President, Goodyear. "It occurred to us as we were preparing to invite America for input on naming the new airship, that the most compelling incentive to enter would be an opportunity to live that dream. Ask yourself, what would you do if you had the blimp for a day?"

Starting at noon on Tuesday, April 11th, consumers can begin submitting their suggested names for the new blimp on a designated site www.nametheblimp.com, which also contains complete details and official rules. If their submission is ultimately selected as the Grand Prize-winning name, they will win use of the Goodyear blimp for a day. Whether it's an aerial party for friends or personal messages over their hometown, one lucky winner will actually get the blimp for his or her own personal use. Nine lucky first place winners will receive a set of Goodyear tires.

Goodyear's newest blimp, now known only by its FAA designation, "N2A," officially enters service as one of Goodyear's three active "Aerial Ambassadors," joining The Spirit of America, launched in September of 2002, and The Spirit of Goodyear, launched in March of 2000. These iconic blimps criss-cross America, traveling more than 100,000 combined miles per year, and routinely displaying messages supporting many charitable causes and organizations.

"Traditionally our blimps have been named after America's Cup winners, but in recent years we've offered a wider variety of options to honor the blimp with names befitting its iconic stature... such as 'The Spirit of America' or 'Eagle,'" added Sinclair.

Goodyear's blimp program began in 1925, when the Company built its first helium-filled public relations airship, the Pilgrim. In 1928, then-Chairman P.W. Litchfield began the tradition of naming its North American-based blimps after winners of the America's Cup yacht race. That tradition continued over most of the program's 80-year history, with just a few exceptions. A list of winners from past America's Cup races whose names Goodyear selected for its airship fleet includes: Stars & Stripes, Columbia, Ranger, Rainbow, Enterprise, Resolute, Reliance, Defender, Vigilant, Volunteer, Mayflower, Puritan, and America. Within the past 40 years, Goodyear has selected other non-Cup winner names to grace the sides of its blimps. Those names included the likes of Europa, Spirit of Akron, Spirit of Goodyear and Eagle.

Contest Details

Name submissions will be accepted from 12:01 PM ET on April 11th until 11:59 PM ET on April 30th, 2006, on www.nametheblimp.com. All entries will be reviewed and rated by Goodyear judges based upon the official rules and judging criteria, which are available on the contest web site. All eligible entries received will be judged by a panel of judges based on their ability to: reflect the storied 80-year history and tradition of the Goodyear Airship; reflect the grace and majesty of air flight; resonate with the Goodyear airships' long history of public service; and acknowledge Goodyear's history of innovations and progress.

A list of ten finalist names will then be announced and posted on the official contest web site at 12:01 am ET on May 7th, 2006, officially kicking off the public, online voting period to help select the final winning name for the blimp. The name with the highest score from this popular voting combined with the votes of a panel of Goodyear representatives, will determine the winning name. For complete details and official rules, go to www.nametheblimp.com.

About The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Goodyear is the world's largest tire company. The company manufactures tires, engineered rubber products and chemicals in more than 90 facilities in 28 countries around the world. Goodyear employs about 80,000 people worldwide. For more information on Goodyear's tires, go to www.goodyeartires.com.

Note to editors: Downloadable photos are available at Goodyear's media website, www.GoodyearNewsRoom.com.

AUDIO: http://progressive.playstream.com/nbn/progressive/04_10_34807.zip

VIDEO: http://easylink.playstream.com/nbn/4_10_goodyear_broll.wmv

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Rich Lukis
    Geoffrey Phelps
    Coyne PR
    973.316.1665

    Ed Markey
    Goodyear
    330.796.8801