Talk Of Third NHL Winter Classic Heats Up

Jan. 5, 2009: The NHL hasn't officially committed to it, but a third Winter Classic outdoor game seems likely as there will be no All-Star Game in 2010 due to the Winter Olympics, and also because marketing partners, fans and league executives like the ROI they've seen so far. As title sponsor, Bridgestone saw the game played in Chicago's Wrigley Field on Jan. 1 as "a tremendous opportunity to build Bridgestone brand awareness," according to Phil Pacsi, vice-president, North America Consumer Tire Marketing at Nashville-based Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire. Other league marketing partners such as Reebok, McDonald's, Anheuser-Busch, Honda and NBC (which aired the Winter Classic) also have expressed enthusiasm over the event. For Bridgestone, it also is a great lead in to the company's sponsorship of the Super Bowl XLIII half time show next month in Tampa. The NFL said Bridgestone would return as half time sponsor at Super Bowl XLIV in Miami (although the company itself has not officially committed), so the same one-two punch to start 2010 could be in the tire company's plans. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said following the 2009 Winter Classic that "I have no idea where we're going next" but that "those that have already expressed their interest will reinforce it." Top venues would include Boston's Fenway Park, New York at the new Yankee Stadium, Vancouver (a natural tie-in to the Winter Olympics there Feb. 12-28, 2010), Miami (to glam some early spotlight being put on Super Bowl XLIV), Phoenix (which is among the top contenders to host the 2011 NHL All-Star Game) and Nashville (to reward Bridgestone). Back to Home Page

 

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