Bridgestone Brand Joins NHL and NHLPA On Season Opening European Road Trip



    NASHVILLE, NEW YORK and TORONTO, Oct. 1 /CNW/ - When the puck drops in
Europe for the launch of the 2008-09 National Hockey League (NHL) season,
Bridgestone brand, the Official Tire of the NHL and the National Hockey League
Players' Association (NHLPA), will be there as title sponsor of the
Bridgestone NHL Premiere 2008. These ground-breaking games will be played
October 4th and 5th in Stockholm, Sweden and in Prague, Czech Republic.
    The Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins will play a pair of games in
Stockholm, Sweden while the New York Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lightning will
face-off in Prague. The NHL European road trip is just one of many
opportunities for corporate and product exposure that Bridgestone Firestone
North American Tire LLC (BFNT) and Bridgestone Firestone Canada Inc. (BFCA)
will enjoy under a global multi-year agreement with the NHL and the NHLPA,
signed in March.
    "Teaming with the NHL is a perfect fit for the Bridgestone brand," said
John Baratta, President, Consumer Replacement Tire Sales, BFNT. "The NHL has a
very loyal fan base of affluent, tech savvy fans throughout the U.S. and
Canada. But many of the star players are European, so the NHL Premiere 2008 is
an opportunity for North American and European exposure for our brand and our
products," Baratta concluded.
    Significant interest will be created in both countries with the return to
Europe of some prominent "hometown" NHL players next week, including Ottawa
captain Daniel Alfredsson of Gothenburg, Sweden and the Rangers' pair of
Michal Rozsival and Petr Prucha of the Czech Republic.
    "The Bridgestone NHL Premiere 2008, part of a long-term vision of
international growth, is providing the Bridgestone brand a significant global
marketing platform at a time when the eyes of the entire global hockey
community will be trained on NHL games in Europe," said Keith Wachtel, NHL
Senior Vice President, Corporate Sales & Marketing. "Our relationship with
Bridgestone is representative of the unique scale, reach and value the NHL is
bringing to the corporate marketing community."
    "The Bridgestone brand's sponsorship of the season opening games in
Europe is an exciting initiative being activated under our joint agreement,"
said Mike Ouellet, NHLPA Chief of Business Affairs. "These international games
will provide wonderful exposure for the Bridgestone brand, while showcasing
our players and sport directly to an international audience."
    Under the agreement signed earlier this year, Bridgestone will leverage
its status as the Official Tire of the NHL and the NHLPA, and will support its
NHL and NHLPA relationship with advertising on NHL telecasts in Canada and the
U.S., as well as supporting various NHL clubs.
    "We're excited that the new NHL season is upon us," said Phil Pacsi, Vice
President N.A. Consumer Tire Marketing, BFNT. "This agreement with the NHL
will provide us numerous exclusive promotional opportunities throughout the
season and beyond, including the Stanley Cup playoffs, the NHL Entry Draft and
the NHL All-Star Game," Pacsi said. The latter two will be in Montreal this
year, as part of that fabled team's Centennial celebrations.

    About Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC:

    Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC
(BFNT) is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc., whose parent
company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the world's largest tire and rubber
company. BFNT develops, manufactures and markets Bridgestone, Firestone and
associate brand tires. The company is focused on wholesale and original
equipment markets, supplying passenger, light truck, commercial vehicle, off
road, motorcycle, agricultural and other tires to its customers in North
America. In addition, through its Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions unit,
retreading customers have access to industry-leading research and development,
manufacturing, marketing and sales expertise, providing them with a total tire
solution.

    About Bridgestone Firestone Canada Inc.:

    Mississauga, Ontario-based Bridgestone Firestone Canada Inc. (BFCA) is an
affiliate of Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT). BFCA and
Nashville, Tenn.-based BFNT are subsidiaries of Bridgestone Americas Holding,
Inc., whose parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the world's largest
tire and rubber company. BFCA and BFNT develop, manufacture and market
Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires. They are focused on
wholesale and original equipment markets, supplying passenger, light truck,
commercial vehicle, off the road, agricultural and other tires to their
customers in Canada and the United States, respectively. In addition, through
its Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions Canada unit, retreading customers have
access to industry-leading research and development, manufacturing, marketing
and sales expertise, providing them with a total tire solution.

    About the NHL:

    The National Hockey League, founded in 1917, is the second-oldest of the
four major professional team sports leagues in North America. Today, the NHL
consists of 30 Member Clubs, each reflecting the League's international
makeup, with players from more than 20 countries represented on team rosters.
According to a Simmons Market Research study, NHL fans are younger, more
educated, more affluent, and access content through digital means more than
any other sport. The NHL entertains more than 100 million fans each season
in-arena and through its partners in national television (VERSUS, NBC, TSN,
CBC, RDS, RIS, NASN, ASN and NHL Network) and radio (Westwood One, Sirius XM
Radio and XM Canada). Through the NHL Foundation, the League's charitable arm,
the NHL raises money and awareness for Hockey Fights Cancer and NHL Youth
Development, and supports the charitable efforts of NHL players. For more
information on the NHL, log on to NHL.com.

    About the NHLPA:

    The National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) is a labour union
whose members are the players in the National Hockey League (NHL). The NHLPA
works on behalf of the players in varied disciplines such as labour law,
product licensing, marketing, international hockey and community relations. In
1999, the NHLPA launched the Goals & Dreams fund, a $16-million hockey program
which is the largest grassroots hockey program in the world. The players'
program has donated full sets of hockey equipment to more than 9,000
economically challenged children in 17 countries and assisted with upgrades
and the building of hundreds of arenas worldwide. For more information on the
NHLPA, please visit nhlpa.com.

    
     NHL and the NHL Shield are registered trademarks and NHL Premier and
      NHL Premiere Series are trademarks of the National Hockey League.
      NHL and NHL team marks are the property of the NHL and its teams.
                             All Rights Reserved.

         NHLPA, National Hockey League Players' Association and the
     NHLPA logo are trademarks of the NHLPA and are used under license.
    





For further information:

For further information: NHL: Kerry McGovern, (212) 789-2172,
kmcgovern@nhl.com; NHLPA: Jonathan Weatherdon, (416) 313-2316,
jweatherdon@nhlpa.com; Bridgestone Americas: Dan MacDonald, (877) 201-2373,
macdonalddan@bfusa.com

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BRIDGESTONE FIRESTONE CANADA INC.

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NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

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