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Bridgestone Eyes Return To NHL Winter Classic, Super Bowl Halftime Show in 2010

Jan. 29: 2009: The NHL has not yet committed to a third outdoor Winter Classic, but when it does, Bridgestone said it would strongly consider returning as title sponsor. "If the NHL has another Winter Classic, Bridgestone certainly would consider being title sponsor again and would want the NHL to include us in any discussions," said John Baratta, president, replacement tire sales U.S. and Canada consumer tire sales division for Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire. "We are trying to build brand awareness for Bridgestone. So when you are investing in something, you want to make sure you are reaching your target audience. With the NHL, we get exactly what we are looking for." If played, the game would be held Jan. 1, 2010, with the new Yankee Stadium being named among the potential sites. The NHL does not have an All-Star Game in 2010 due to the Winter Olympics in February, making the possibility of a third Winter Classic that much stronger. The Bridgestone Winter Classic game on Jan. 1 at Wrigley Field garnered NBC TV's highest ratings for a regular season NHL game since 1975 and was 12% higher than NBC's telecast of the 2008 Winter Classic. Bridgestone received substantial ROI for its role via TV spots during the telecast, pre-game branded promotions, dasher board placement and in-game video spots and integration across all NHL media. Pepsi's Amp Energy was title sponsor of the first Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2008, played in Buffalo. Regarding a return as sponsor for the halftime show in Super Bowl XLIV in Miami next year, Baratta said that Bridgestone, which currently is in the second year of a three-year deal with the NFL, is exploring all of its options. "Perhaps as an associate sponsor [if not] a presenting sponsor as we have been in two Super Bowls. We think we have gotten very good value out of it." said Baretta.

See Q&A for Full Interview with John Baratta.

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