NEW YORK / NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The National Hockey League (NHL) today announced a five-year North American renewal with Bridgestone to continue as the Official Tire of the NHL and return as title sponsor of the NHL Winter Classic outdoor game. The announcement was made today by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman at Gillette Stadium, site of the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic matchup between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens on New Year's Day.
The 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic marks Bridgestone's seventh consecutive year as title sponsor of the award-winning event, further leveraging its commitment to the sport of hockey. In less than a decade, the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic has become a major event on the North American sporting calendar, with a tradition of excellence, passion, excitement and fun for those in attendance and watching from home. Five of the six most-watched NHL regular-season games in the U.S. since 1975 are Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic games. The 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic remains the largest audience ever for an NHL regular-season game in Canadian broadcast history.
"We are proud of our longstanding relationship with Bridgestone," said Keith Wachtel, NHL Executive Vice President of Global Partnerships. "Bridgestone has helped elevate the NHL Winter Classic into one of the most-anticipated events, not only of the NHL season but on the big event calendar. Sports fans can expect many more years of exciting and innovative activations across League platforms from Bridgestone."
"The partnership with the National Hockey League aligns the Bridgestone brand with a premier sports league and very loyal fan base, and it represents an important piece of Bridgestone's commitment to sports," said Phil Pacsi, Vice President of Sports/Events Marketing and Training, Bridgestone Americas. "We have seen tremendous results from both the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and our season-long NHL activation. With this new agreement, we will continue to leverage this partnership to showcase our, and the NHL's, commitment to performance and innovation."
As title partner of the 2016 edition of the NHL Winter Classic, Bridgestone will receive on-air rights from League broadcast partners NBC, Rogers and TVA Sports as well as branded promotion in NBC programming; dasherboard placements for the Bridgestone logo in the NHL Winter Classic venue; in-venue video spots and PA announcements; and integration of the Bridgestone brand throughout all NHL media properties, including video, print, online and radio.
In addition, Bridgestone will expand its League support with partnerships with NHL teams, building its presence on the local level as well as the national level.
Bridgestone will further support its NHL relationship through a significant media commitment, including promotions across the NHL's media platforms such as NHL.com, NHL Social and NHL Mobile. The renewed agreement also leverages the NHL brand through use of League marks and collective use of team marks in Bridgestone's national consumer advertising campaigns.
Since its introduction in 2008, the NHL Winter Classic has received numerous awards and accolades, including Sports Event of the Year honors from SportsBusiness Journal in 2009 and 2014 and Sports Emmys for tune-in advertising campaigns and all-access reality series.