NEW YORK, N.Y.; TORONTO, Ontario; and NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The National Hockey League (NHL), the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) and the Hockey Hall of Fame (HHOF) today announced the renewal of a partnership with Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC (BATO) and Bridgestone Canada Inc. (BCA) in which the Bridgestone brand will serve as the "Official Tire of the NHL®, NHLPA and the Hockey Hall of Fame," for the next five years.
As part of the agreement, Bridgestone will return as the title sponsor of the award-winning outdoor game, the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®. Title sponsorship of the event delivers a significant platform for Bridgestone to showcase its brand during what is typically the NHL's most-watched regular-season game, and one of the crown jewels of the New Year's Day television schedule.
"Bridgestone has been a remarkable partner for the League," said Keith Wachtel, NHL Senior Vice President, Corporate Sales & Marketing. "Their renewal and commitment to NHL hockey for the next five years is validation of the League's ability to provide corporate partners with activation platforms that reach a fast-growing, highly desirable demographic."
As the title partner for the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, Bridgestone will be provided with a number of assets in addition to incorporating its logo into the official game and event mark. These assets include on-air title broadcast rights from all of the League's broadcast partners (NBC, CBC and RDS); branded promotion in NBC programming; camera-visible dasherboard placements of the Bridgestone logo; in-arena video spots and PA announcements; and integration of the Bridgestone brand throughout all NHL media properties - including video, print, online and radio.
"This has been a great partnership to position the Bridgestone brand with a premiere sports league with a large and very loyal fan base," said John Baratta, President, US & Canada Consumer Replacement Tire Sales division, BATO. "By continuing our partnership with the NHL, the NHLPA and the Hockey Hall of Fame we will continue 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."
Serving as title sponsor for the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic is just one of numerous exclusive promotional opportunities for the Bridgestone brand as part of the multi-year 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 NHL Face-Off™, Stanley Cup® Playoffs, NHL Draft, NHL Awards™ and the NHL All-Star game. The deal also provides Bridgestone with the use of NHL Player rights and images.
"The NHLPA is very pleased to renew our successful partnership with Bridgestone," said Mike Ouellet, NHLPA Chief of Business Affairs. "Bridgestone's long-term commitment to NHL players and the NHL game will provide positive exposure for their industry leading brand to our loyal fan-base."
The Bridgestone brand also will leverage its status as the exclusive tire of the NHL and NHLPA by supporting the League's media properties including NHL.com and NHL Network™, various NHL clubs and by advertising on NHL telecasts in Canada and the U.S.
In addition, this sponsorship includes the Mark Messier NHL® Leadership Award Presented by Bridgestone, which recognizes the NHL player who has demonstrated superior leadership in hockey and has made positive contributions to society, and the Bridgestone Mark Messier Youth Leadership Award, which rewards youth hockey players or mentor/coaches for their contributions to youth sports or education.