SUFFIELD, Ohio (Sept. 23. 2016) — Goodyear has picked Akron native Savannah James, a businesswoman and philanthropist, to christen Wingfoot Two, the newest addition to Goodyear's fleet of blimps.
Ms. James does much of her philanthropic work through the LeBron James Family Foundation, which was founded in 2004 by her husband Cleveland Cavaliers' star LeBron James.
She will be the fifth woman to christen one of the blimps, joining aviator Amelia Earhart (1929), astronaut Sally Ride (2000), International Speedway Corp. President Lesa France Kennedy (2006) and Robin Roberts, co-anchor or ABC's “Good Morning America” (2014) as women who have done the honors.
In addition to working closely with the LeBron James Family Foundation's I PROMise Makeover — an annual event that empowers and inspires young women — Ms. James is preparing to launch a mentoring program for young woman at her alma mater, Buchtel High School in Akron, Goodyear said.
“Savannah's Akron-born roots and passion for improving the local community made her a natural choice to christen Wingfoot Two,” Richard Kramer Goodyear chairman, CEO and president said.
“Goodyear has a long-standing tradition of enlisting strong, accomplished women to christen our iconic airships, and we are proud to welcome Savannah to the family.”
The christening is scheduled for Oct. 21 at the blimps' home base in Suffield, south of Akron.
Wingfoot Two is the second blimp to employ some of the newest technology and a more modern design. Its features include enhanced aerial television coverage capabilities, increased flight. a larger in-flight passenger experience and better panoramic views, according to Goodyear.
Since 1917, Goodyear has designed and built more than 300 blimps for public relations and defense applications, the company said. Many of those airships were built at the facility in Suffield.
Separately, Goodyear said Wingfoot Two will tour Ontario Sept. 23 through Oct. 2 to provide aerial coverage of the World Cup of Hockey and Toronto Blue Jays for television partners including ESPN and Rogers Sportsnet.
The trip marks the first time in nearly that a Goodyear blimp has flown over Canada, Goodyear said.
Wingfoot Two will be stationed at Oshawa Executive Airport and is expected to remain in Canada through Oct. 2.
Anyone who spots the blimp on its journey is encouraged to share photos on social media using #TrueNorthBlimp.