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NHL Winter Classic 2009 to feature Bridgestone brand as title sponsor

NHL.com @NHL

"This is a tremendous opportunity to build Bridgestone brand awareness. When the puck drops at Wrigley, we're thrilled that the Bridgestone brand will be front and center for such a unique and history making sports event."
-- Phil Pacsi, Vice President N.A. Consumer Tire Marketing, BFNT

NASHVILLE/NEW YORK/TORONTO – When the puck drops on New Year's Day at Wrigley Field for a historic outdoor game between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks, the Bridgestone brand will be at center ice as the title sponsor of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic™ 2009.   Through this unique opportunity, the Bridgestone brand will be showcased as the Official Tire of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) to what is expected to be a significant viewing audience throughout North America.  Last season's 2008 NHL Winter Classic on NBC earned the best U.S. ratings for an NHL regular-season game in over a decade.

As the title partner for the event, 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.

Serving as title sponsor for the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic 2009 is just one of numerous exclusive promotional opportunities for the Bridgestone brand as part of the multi-year agreement between Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT), Bridgestone Firestone Canada Inc. (BFCA) and the NHL. This includes sponsorship of the Bridgestone Greatest NHL Captains program -- an on-line promotion on NHL.com that enables fans to pick the greatest captains in NHL history -- as well prominent brand exposure in premier NHL events like the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the NHL Entry Draft and the NHL All-Star Game. 

"The rivalry between the Blackhawks and the Red Wings is legendary and will be the perfect opportunity for Bridgestone brand exposure throughout North America and beyond," said John Baratta, President, Consumer Replacement Tire Sales, BFNT.  "This visibility continues to build upon our already strong relationship with the NHL and is a great way to begin the New Year by reaching out to the affluent and loyal NHL fan," Baratta added.

"We are thrilled to have Bridgestone as the title sponsor of the NHL Winter Classic.  This unique event brings together hockey fans from across North America to celebrate the heritage of the game," said Keith Wachtel, NHL Senior Vice President, Corporate Sales & Marketing.  "The NHL Winter Classic has become a signature event for the League, creating a major marketing platform for our partners to activate while placing the NHL in a leadership position for sporting events on New Year's Day."

The Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic 2009 will be the 701st all-time meeting of the clubs – no NHL opponents have played more regular-season games against each other.  Face-off is at 1 p.m. ET/Noon CT.  NBC will provide live broadcast coverage of the game in the United States. In Canada, CBC and RDS will televise the event live. NHL Network and NHL.com will provide extensive coverage and NHL Radio will provide coverage for radio stations across North America.   Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic 2009 will be the second regular-season outdoor NHL game played in the United States and the third regular-season outdoor game in League history.   
   
"We're excited to be a part of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic 2009, which features two of the NHL's most storied franchises playing in iconic Wrigley Field," said Phil Pacsi, Vice President N.A. Consumer Tire Marketing, BFNT. "This game promises to be a sellout and attract a large and loyal television audience. This is a tremendous opportunity to build Bridgestone brand awareness.  When the puck drops at Wrigley, we're thrilled that the Bridgestone brand will be front and center for such a unique and history making sports event."


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