INDIANAPOLIS (May 6, 2002)—Bridgestone/Firestone, seeking a catalyst to recharge its beleaguered Firestone brand, has secured the use of the Indy 500 name and its winged logo for its redesigned entry-level Firehawk performance tire range.
Using opening-day festivities May 5 for the 2002 Indy 500 race as a backdrop, Bridgestone/Firestone and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) announced a four-year partnership that capitalizes on Firestone's role as the sole racing tire supplier to the Indy 500 and the Indy Racing League. This is the first time in IMS's 90-year history that the speedway has licensed the Indy 500 name to any product.
“When you have the privilege to launch and promote the only tire ever authorized by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to wear the Indy 500 name and logo, you really want to do it up right,” said Phil Pacsi, executive director of consumer tire marketing for BFS.
The Firehawk Indy 500 went on sale May 5 at stores across the country. It will be supported by a multifaceted promotion campaign that includes television and print advertising and consumer premiums, Mr. Pacsi said.
The S-rated Firehawk Indy 500 is available initially in 17 predominantly raised white letter sizes, from P175/70R13 to P295/50R15; it replaces the SS-20 in the Firehawk lineup.
The length of the agreement coincides with Firestone's role as the official tire supplier of IMS and the IRL through 2005, and hooks into Firestone's history with IMS—52 of the race's winners have run on Firestone tires. BFS is paying IMS an undisclosed royalty for the use of the Indy 500 name and logo.
BFS has created a separate Web site—www. Indy500tire.com—to support the launch.