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Nashville Predators & Bridgestone Americas Extend Naming Rights Agreement

by Press Release / Nashville Predators
Arena will bear the Bridgestone brand name through 2019

NASHVILLE, TENN. (Dec. 15, 2011) – The Nashville Predators/Bridgestone Arena and Bridgestone Americas, Inc. are proud to announce a five-year extension on the naming rights for Bridgestone Arena, home of the Nashville Predators. Signed in March 2010, the initial term of the agreement was five years, and with this extension, signed just two years into the first five-year deal, Bridgestone Americas will have the Bridgestone brand name on Nashville’s downtown arena through 2019.

Since Bridgestone Americas lent the brand name to Nashville’s downtown arena two years ago, the venue has enjoyed its most successful years to date. Bridgestone Arena, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this month, was nominated in November for its fifth consecutive Pollstar “Venue of the Year” Award – with the two highest Pollstar year-end rankings ever occurring in 2010 and 2011. It is also the second busiest venue in the country according to Venues Today.

Other highlights over the past two years include:
   •A three-year extension with the Country Music Association to host the CMA Awards was signed this year, keeping CMA in the arena through 2013.
   •2010 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament and 2011 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournaments
       oUpcoming tournaments include: 2012 SEC Women’s Basketball; 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball; 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2019 SEC Men’s Basketball; and 2014 NCAA Women’s Final Four.
   •Garth Brooks played nine consecutive sold-out shows in December 2010, benefitting Middle Tennessee flood relief.
   •December 2010 was the busiest month in Bridgestone Arena history, with a building-high 334,917 guests walking through the doors for 22 separate events – seven Nashville Predators home games and 15 concerts.
   •Bridgestone Arena has also seen several improvements over the past two years, including: upgraded suites, a new dasher board and glass system for hockey games, point-of-service upgrades, a revamped locker room, an expanded Kids Zone and a brand-new Fan Zone on the 300 Level.

Bridgestone Americas is also a partner of the NHL and has been the title sponsor of the NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic since its inception in 2008. This season’s Bridgestone Winter Classic takes place Jan. 2, 2012 in Philadelphia as the Flyers take on the New York Rangers.

“This naming rights partnership between the Predators/Bridgestone Arena and Bridgestone Americas has exceeded everyone’s expectations during its first two years,” Nashville Predators CEO Jeff Cogen said. “When Bridgestone lent its name to our building, they helped solidify the stability of the team and showcased the team and the arena as tremendous investments. Bridgestone is a locally based company with global reach, and like the Predators, they pride themselves on their commitment to business excellence and to community. Both on the ice and off it, the team and facility continue to be very successful, and the performance of the venue since Bridgestone Americas came on board has been exceptional. The number and quality of the events hosted is second to none, and the long-term funnel of upcoming events is significant and exciting, which help Nashville’s prospects of landing an NHL All-Star Game.”

“Bridgestone Americas is a proud supporter of hockey, and by lending our brand name to the Nashville Predators home arena, we not only made a commitment to keeping hockey in Middle Tennessee, we also made a commitment to the city and the community,” Bridgestone Americas CEO and President Gary Garfield said. “Since Bridgestone Arena first opened, the city has seen significant development that has transformed downtown Nashville into one of the top tourist destinations in the country. The continued development of downtown Nashville, and the prospects of even further development, cements Bridgestone Arena as a cornerstone for economic growth in Middle Tennessee. We couldn’t be more proud to attach the Bridgestone name to this thriving downtown venue.”

About Bridgestone Arena:
Serving as the home for numerous national and international events, Bridgestone Arena has the distinction of being one of the busiest venues in the Unites States over the past decade and a half, hosting more than 13 million guests during that time. The NHL’s Nashville Predators have been the primary tenants of Bridgestone Arena since 1998 – less than two years after the venue opened its doors for its first concert – and boast one of the most unique game atmospheres in the NHL. The list of acts that have called Bridgestone Arena home is lengthy and includes the Country Music Association Awards; the Country Music Television Awards; Keith Urban’s “We’re All For the Hall” benefit concerts; NCAA, SEC and OVC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments; and entertainers such as Garth Brooks, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Billy Joel, the Rolling Stones, Tim McGraw, KISS, Metallica and Lady Gaga. The arena is also set to host the NCAA Women’s Final Four in 2014.

About the Nashville Predators:
Since being becoming the National Hockey League’s 27th team on May 4, 1998, the Nashville Predators have evolved from a young expansion franchise to a model of consistency as one of just six teams to reach the postseason six of the last seven seasons and one of four to post six consecutive 40-win seasons. On the ice, the Predators are led by the defensive duo of 2011 Norris Trophy (top defenseman) runner-up Shea Weber and U.S. Olympian Ryan Suter, as well as 2011 Vezina Trophy (top goaltender) runner-up Pekka Rinne. Off it, the club is a model of consistency with 2011 GM of the Year finalist David Poile and 2010 and 2011 Jack Adams (top coach) finalist Barry Trotz being the only holders of their respective positions in franchise history. The Predators are also proud to support the Nashville community that supports them, with the Nashville Predators Foundation raising more than $3.0 million in grants and donations for area charity organizations.

About Bridgestone Americas, Inc.:
Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company. BSAM and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires to address the needs of a broad range of customers, including consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies are also engaged in retreading operations throughout the Western Hemisphere and produce air springs, roofing materials, and industrial fibers and textiles. The BSAM family of companies also operates the world’s largest chain of automotive tire and service centers. Guided by its One Team, One Planet message, the company is dedicated to achieving a positive environmental impact in all of the communities it calls home.

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