NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 25, 2008) – Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT) today announced an advertising agreement with FOX Sports Network for the Firestone brand on the network’s Major League Baseball (MLB) coverage. The agreement strengthens the company’s program to advertise with and sponsor high-profile professional sports properties.
“Baseball has a rich tradition as our national pastime. Opening day and opening week are one of the most exciting times for baseball fans,” said John Baratta, currently Vice President, North American Consumer Tire Replacement Sales, BFNT. Baratta, who will become President of BFNT’s North American Consumer Replacement Tire group May 1, continued, “Firestone is an iconic American brand, so I’m thrilled that Firestone will be there when millions of fans tune in to hear the umpire shout ’play ball’ at the start of the major league season.”
During opening day and opening week festivities, the Firestone brand will be a presenting sponsor of the 25 MLB teams featured on FOX Sports Network. During the spring, the brand will be featured in more than 2,200 30-second advertisements during MLB programming. Further, the Firestone brand will have print ad inserts in the programs of the four premier MLB events during the season: the MLB All-Star Game, the National League Championship Series (NLCS), the American League Championship Series (ALCS) and the World Series. The brand will also be regularly featured in billboards during televised games and highlighted in a custom, animated FOX Box “Leaders” feature.
As part of the advertising campaign throughout the season, the Firestone brand will also be featured in game day programs or yearbooks — and in many cases, both — of all 29 continental U.S. MLB teams.
Interestingly, this is not Firestone’s first foray into baseball. In 1925, Harvey S. Firestone Sr., founder of The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company, dedicated a 13-acre baseball and softball complex in Akron, Ohio. The Firestone Stadium, which is still used today by the Akron Racers of the Women’s Fastpitch Professional Softball League, was constructed for recreational opportunities of Firestone employees as well as the numerous baseball and softball teams in Akron. In 1998, the company donated the historic stadium to the City of Akron.
Recently, BFNT has entered into numerous high-profile sports sponsorships with the Bridgestone brand, including the Official Tire of the NHL, Official Tire of the NFL, Official Tire Sponsor of the Super Bowl and 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 (BFNT):
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 road, motorcycle, agricultural and other tires to its customers in North America.