Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC has fired up a multiyear integrated marketing partnership with Major League Baseball Properties.
The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, makes the Firestone brand the first "official tire of Major League Baseball," with media buys on the sports national cable carriers TBS, ESPN and MLB Networks a key component of the sponsorship pact.
The agreement, Firestone's largest sports sponsorship outside of motor sports, will also make the brand the exclusive sponsor of in-stadium All-Star Game balloting. Ballots will be distributed at all 30 MLB stadiums and 100 minor league parks, while there also will be in-store promotions at Firestone's 7500 outlets across the nation.
In addition to the national cable schedules, Firestone, which is creating baseball-themed creative, will buy ads on Fox and in-stadium publications. A spokesman for the 109-year-old tire brand said the company was
"evaluating various opportunities with particular clubs and on a regional basis with cable."
Firestone founder Harvey S. Firestone was a noted baseball enthusiast and helped build Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio in 1925, which played host to a number of travelling MLB players over the years and is still used today for area youth baseball and softball leagues.
"This relationship with MLB brings together two iconic American brands. Aligning the 109 year old Firestone brand with America's National Pastime is a great combination," said John Baratta, president of consumer tire replacement sales, BATO, in a statement. "MLB has a vast and loyal fan base who demand a great performance from their Clubs and great value from the products they support. These fans are a perfect fit for the Firestone brand."
Added MLB executive vice president of business Time Brosnan: "Firestone is a proven leader in their industry as well as one of the truly renowned brands in America.We are proud to welcome Firestone into the MLB family and look forward to bringing our fans and their customers closer together through exciting and innovative programs."