NASHVILLE (Dec. 18, 2009) — The Firestone brand will become the official tire of Major League Baseball (MLB) and a sponsor of the sport's all-star game balloting for the next few years, linking two brands with 100-plus year histories.
Neither Bridgestone Americas nor Major League Baseball Properties Inc. (MLBP) disclosed the value or the duration of the deal, which Bridgestone calls the largest sports sponsorship outside of motorsports in the Firestone brand's history.
An MLBP spokesperson did not dispute a published report that the deal is for five years and worth “multi millions” of dollars.
The deal is in addition to sponsorship partnerships the company has for the Bridgestone brand with the National Football League, National Hockey League, Professional Golfers Assocation and for the Firestone brand in IndyCar racing.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to elevate the Firestone brand to new heights of consumer awareness and visibility,” said John Baratta, president of consumer tire replacement sales.
The deal “opens up a new world of possibilities to continue to strengthen our brand loyalty, bolster our marketing support for our family of retailers and reach out to millions of new consumers who are loyal to MLB and its prestigious roster of official sponsors,” he said.
The agreement calls for Firestone to become the exclusive sponsor of in-stadium all-star game balloting, which takes place during the first couple of months of the season at all 30 MLB ball parks and at 100 minor league parks as well. MLB distributes more than 20 million ballots for the voting, Bridgestone said.
Bridgestone also will partner with MLB on various promotional opportunities, including the title sponsorship of an officially sanctioned All-Star Week hospitality event and presenting sponsorship of a premiere attraction at MLB All-Star FanFest, Bridgestone said.
The agreement also includes unspecified trademark rights and broadcast media elements.
Bridgestone said it will support the MLB partnership with an integrated marketing plan including national advertising and consumer marketing programs and promotions.