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Bridgestone brand named "The Official Tire of the NHL, NHLPA and the Hockey Hall of Fame" @NHLdotcom

NEW YORK, N.Y.; TORONTO, Ontario; and NASHVILLE, Tenn.
– 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 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.

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