NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Bridgestone Americas Inc. is throwing its support behind Winter Olympian Erin Jackson after she came through with a "clutch performance" at the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials to earn a spot on the Team USA long-track speed-skating team.
According to Bridgestone, Ms. Jackson, the first black athlete to earn a spot on the women's long-track speed-skating team, had her sights set on the 2022 Winter Olympics. After only five months of training, however, she managed to shave 0.7 second off of her personal best time to finish third in the trials competition and earn a spot on the team this year.
"Erin knows what it means to perform your best when it matters most, and that's exactly what she did in at the U.S. trials in Milwaukee earlier this month," said Phil Pacsi, vice president of sports and events marketing and training, Bridgestone Americas, Inc.
"She truly embodies the notion of 'clutch performance' that is central to our U.S. marketing campaign for PyeongChang 2018, as well as our global Olympic message, which aims to inspire people to persevere in pursuit of their dreams. We're very proud to welcome her to Team Bridgestone."
Ms. Jackson will compete in the women's 500 meters event on Feb. 18 in PyeongChang, South Korea.
The agreement with the tire maker marks Ms. Jackson's first endorsement deal as an Olympian and will provide her with financial support and access to Bridgestone products.
Ms. Jackson said she's excited to work with Bridgestone.
"It means a lot that they're offering support at a time that will make it possible for some of my family to travel to share this special experience with me," she said.
She joins Team USA athletes Nathan Chen (figure skating), Elana Meyers Taylor (bobsled), Amy Purdy (para snowboarding), Evan Strong (para snowboarding) and Ashley Wagner (figure skating) as a part of Team Bridgestone USA.
Bridgestone Americas is the North American subsidiary of Tokyo-based Bridgestone Corp., which signed on as an official Worldwide Partner of the International Olympic Committee in June 2014.
The agreement includes the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.