Bridgestone Cuts Two-Year Super Bowl Half-Time Deals

Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire has signed on to present the half-time show for both Super Bowl XLII in February and XLIII in 2009.

The show will be dubbed, "Bridgestone Super Bowl Halftime Show," with the Nashville U.S. sales arm of the Japanese tire maker also serving as "Official Tire Sponsor" of the two Super Bowls.

Super Bowl XLII, set to take place on Feb. 3 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., will be televised by Fox. Super Bowl XLIII will be in Tampa, Fla. The deal was brokered by Dallas-based Richards Sports and Entertainment, a unit of The Richards Group, which became Bridgestone Firestone's creative and media AOR last year.

The sponsorship is part of Bridgestone's multi-year deal signed last month with the NFL and makes Bridgestone the league's first-ever "Official Tire" and title sponsor of the Bridgestone International Series. The first of those was played last month at London's Wembley Stadium between the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins.



Michael Fluck, advertising and Internet manager at the company, says Bridgestone will get mileage from all of Fox's promotional activity for the forthcoming Super Bowl via TV, radio and Internet advertising. "We get tremendous benefit," he says, adding Bridgestone also gets on-field and stadium signage, including seat cushions, all with Bridgestone branding.

The company will launch two new TV spots, also by Richards Group, during the game and have a brand experience at the NFL Experience interactive theme park at the Arizona venue during game week. Bridgestone also will be official tire sponsor of the Pro Bowl, played the week after the Bowl game, in Hawaii.

The new Super Bowl ads are in development, per Phil Pacsi, VP/North American consumer tire marketing at Bridgestone-Firestone. He says they will carry a Bridgestone brand message (versus product-specific content) around the company's theme, "Bridgestone or nothing." The company recently launched three new commercials and is preparing a third focused on its Blizzak winter-weather tire line.

Pacsi says that the company's Bridgestone brand will also expand its activity around motorsports, including Moto GP motorcycle racing, and SCCA sports (club racing). The company initiated the latter sponsorship this year to promote its high-performance Potenza tire.

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