Nomination Process Now Open for Bridgestone Mark Messier Youth Leadership Award

Bridgestone also continues sponsorship of the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award

NASHVILLE/NEW YORK, Feb. 24 /CNW/ - For the third consecutive year, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) has teamed up with NHL® Hall of Famer Mark Messier to recognize and reward an individual who has made a positive impact on the lives of kids in the world of amateur hockey, and nominations for the Bridgestone Mark Messier Youth Leadership Award are now being accepted.

This award is intended to encourage leadership and community spirit and to reward those involved for their contributions to youth sports or education. It will provide a $5,000 grant or scholarship to the United States or Canadian resident involved in amateur hockey judged to have overcome adversity in achieving his or her goal or dream; supported community service by promoting youth sports or excellence in academics for athletes; or who has enabled underprivileged kids to participate in hockey. This could include players, coaches, administrators, sponsors, officials and timers and scorers - anyone who has used hockey to make a difference. The award will be presented during the third game of the 2011 Stanley Cup® Final. (For complete award and nomination guidelines for the Bridgestone Mark Messier Youth Leadership Award please visit: 

Last year's winner was Neal Henderson, Founder and Head Coach of the Washington D.C.-based DuPont Hockey Club - a remarkable program that provides opportunities for deserving kids to build character, learn sportsmanship and experience the unique joy of playing youth hockey.

"I'm so happy to see this program is in its third year and still going strong," Messier said.  "The submissions we received the first two years were so inspiring, and I can't wait to see what 2011 has in store. Thanks to Bridgestone for being a great partner in this rewarding initiative and I am proud to have my name alongside theirs in this effort to promote excellence and leadership both on and off the ice."

In addition, the Bridgestone brand will continue to sponsor the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, which recognizes a National Hockey League player who has demonstrated superior leadership in hockey and has made positive contributions to society. The award honors an individual who leads by positive example through on-ice performance, motivation of team members and a dedication to community activities and charitable causes.

"Once again, the NHL is pleased to have Bridgestone on board with efforts to recognize those in the sport of hockey who are making a positive impact, whether they are at the professional or amateur level," said Brian Jennings, NHL Executive Vice President of Marketing.  "Our partnership with Bridgestone goes beyond sports marketing to reach hockey enthusiasts at the grassroots level, which creates connections we can build upon for years to come."

The successful multi-year partnership between the Bridgestone brand and the NHL has also included title sponsorship of the Bridgestone NHL Premiere™ series in Prague and Stockholm in 2008, the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® in 2009, 2010 and 2011, the Bridgestone Greatest NHL Captains program in 2009 -- an on-line promotion on that enabled fans to pick the greatest captains in NHL history -- as well as prominent brand exposure in premier NHL events like the Stanley Cup® Playoffs, the NHL Entry Draft, the NHL All-Star Game and the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™. 

About Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations:

Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) is a business unit of Bridgestone Americas, Inc., whose parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the world's largest tire and rubber company. Reporting into the BATO business unit are the company's Latin American tire operations, the U.S. and Canadian consumer tire businesses and the U.S. and Canadian commercial tire businesses. BATO develops, manufactures and markets Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires. The business unit is focused on retail, wholesale and original equipment markets, supplying passenger, light truck, commercial vehicle, off road, motorcycle, agricultural and other tires to its customers in the Americas. 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 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 250 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 (NHL Radio™, 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, the NHL Shield, Stanley Cup and NHL Winter Classic word mark are registered trademarks and NHL Premiere and NHL Heritage Classic are trademarks of the National Hockey League.  All Rights Reserved.

NHLPA is a registered trademark of the National Hockey League Players' Association. All Rights Reserved.

SOURCE Bridgestone Canada Inc.

For further information:

Bridgestone Americas:Darla Elkins, 877-201-2373,
NHL: Kerry McGovern, 212-789-2172,

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Bridgestone Canada Inc.

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