NFL Kicks The Tires, Renews Deal With Bridgestone For Five Years

July 15, 2010: The National Football League said it has signed a new deal with Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations for a five-year extension of their existing integrated marketing sponsorship.

Under terms of the deal, Bridgestone would continue to be the “official tire of the NFL” and continue to work with the league in "numerous exclusive promotional opportunities," including title sponsorship of the half time shows at Super Bowls XLV – XLIX. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The NFL and Bridgestone signed an original three-year deal that began in 2007. Bridgestone was title sponsor of the half time shows at Super Bowl XLII (University of Phoenix Stadium) with headliner Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers; Super Bowl XLIII (Tampa's Raymond James Stadium) with headliner Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band; and Super Bowl XLIV (Miami's Sun Life Stadium) with headline act The Who.

The deal means that Bridgestone would be title sponsor of eight consecutive Super Bowl half time shows, breaking by far a record held by E*Trade, which was title sponsor of three consecutive half time shows (Super Bowls XXXIV, XXXV and XXXVI). The next five Super Bowls encompass games at Cowboys Stadium (2011), Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis (2012), the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans (2013) and the New Meadowlands in New York/New Jersey (2014). The site for Super Bowl XLIX in 2015 will be named next May.

Bridgestone also had been title sponsor of the NFL International Series, played at Wembley Stadium in London, in 2007 and 2008, but Pepsi Max took over that role under a multi-year deal in 2009. In May, Bridgestone extended its alliance with the NHL for five years to remain as the league's official tire and title sponsor of the Winter Classic.

Bridgestone will sponsor the half time shows at Super Bowl XLV in Dallas, Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis and the three Super Bowls after that.The sponsorship agreement includes trademark rights and broadcast and online media elements. BATO said it plans to continue its support of the NFL sponsorship with an integrated marketing plan including national advertising and consumer marketing programs and promotions. The company will also maintain sponsorship rights in Japan, one of the NFL’s international territories. Bridgestone's lead advertising agency is The Richards Group, Dallas.

"[The NFL deal] has worked very well for us," John Baratta, President, US & Canada Consumer Replacement Tire Sales division, BATO, told during an interview in June. "Getting brand exposure for Bridgestone, getting consumers to associate the brand with the Super Bowl and Half Time show jewel event was important. It's valuable property. If you look at what is coming up on the schedule, there are very important games that companies want to be part of: Super Bowl XLV in Dallas, Super Bowl XLVIII in the New York markets. That's global exposure for the NFL and its partners even beyond what the Super Bowl usually generates."

According to Keith Turner, the NFL’s svp-sponsorship and media sales, “We are excited to continue to align the NFL with a premium brand like Bridgestone. The Bridgestone brand has helped elevate the image of the Super Bowl Halftime Show over the past three years and we look forward to growing this tradition.”

Along with its sponsorship of the NFL, Bridgestone is also the official tire of the NHL and NHLPA and title sponsor of the Winter Classic; the official tire of the PGA Tour; and title sponsor 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 Major League Baseball, the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race and the IZOD IndyCar Series and the Firestone Indy Lights Series. In addition, the company has a five-year naming rights deal for the Bridgestone Arena, home of the NHL's Nashville Predators.

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