AKRON (Feb. 28, 2003)—The Home Depot has taken over as the title sponsor of the All-American Soap Box Derby from Goodyear for the 2003 race.
The Akron-based tire maker remains an official sponsor, along with other companies including National City Bank, Summa Health System, Liquid Nails, Papa John's Pizza and Chapel Hill Mall. A Goodyear spokesman acknowledged the tire maker has reduced its sponsorship investment, but he said the company remains actively involved. An official sponsorship comes with a contribution of at least $2,500, the derby said.
Goodyear had been the national title sponsor from 1999 to 2002, the tire maker said.
The soap box derby is a youth racing program that has run nationally since 1934. The world championship finals are held each summer in Akron.
Jeff Iula, general manager of the derby, said Goodyear has been involved in the program since the early 1980s.
“They're still very involved this year,” he said.
The Goodyear spokesman said the company's plan was to provide support to the derby, raise awareness and help the event grow. He said as a result the number of participants, sponsors and participating communities has increased.