NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. is launching a print, television and marketing campaign spotlighting the return of the company's Firestone brand tires to Indy Car racing in 1995. Firestone left Indy Car racing in 1977 after compiling a record 48 wins at the ``Brickyard,'' including 43 consecutively from 1920-1966, according to Firestone-Brand Marketing Manager Stan Cooper.
Now, Mr. Cooper said, Firestone is ready to return to its ``winning tradition'' on the race track-a strategy the company hopes will boost Firehawk-brand tire sales, increase brand recognition for the original equipment and replacement markets and help project the company's ``commitment to technological excellence'' to motorists throughout the U.S.
The company will continue to emphasize the tagline ``Firestone: America's Tire Since 1900'' throughout the ad campaign.
For the campaign, expected to run through the 1995 racing season, Firestone has created a full-color print advertisement for major consumer, auto enthusiast and motorsport magazines featuring the Patrick Racing Team's T9300 Lola Indy car currently testing Firestone Firehawk racing tires.
The ad describes Indy racing as a contest of cars and drivers, but says, ``Soon it will become a contest between tires,'' according to BFS Advertising Manager Paul Napoli, who said the return-to-racing campaign has already boosted employee morale.
In conjunction with the print campaign, BFS has produced a 30-second television commercial being aired on cable stations and during sports programming. A version of the ad allows for local dealer identification.
The commercial, shot at Phoenix International Raceway during actual tire testing, shows the Firestone test team at work.
And dealers will soon be receiving a marketing kit expected to boost the brand's momentum before race day 1995. The marketing program includes a promotion allowing dealers to give away limited edition, die-cast metal replicas of the Firestone test car to customers buying Firehawk sets in May.