AKRON, Ohio – PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem, representing the International Federation of PGA Tours; Masaaki Tsuya, Bridgestone Global CEO and Chairman of the Board; and Gary Garfield, CEO and President, Bridgestone Americas, announced today that the International Federation of PGA Tours and Bridgestone have reached an agreement to extend Bridgestone’s title sponsorship of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club through 2018. Finchem, Tsuya and Garfield made the announcement during a press conference prior to the leaders teeing off for the final round of the 2013 Bridgestone Invitational.
Bridgestone, a world leader in tire innovation and technology, first began sponsoring the Bridgestone Invitational in 2006, and the current title sponsorship agreement runs through 2014. The Bridgestone Invitational is played at the famed Firestone Country Club’s South Course in Akron, Ohio.
Bridgestone also extended its Official Marketing Partner relationship with the PGA TOUR through 2018 and will remain as the “Official Tire of the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour.” The agreement gives Bridgestone opportunities to introduce a distinguished consumer demographic to high-performance Bridgestone tire technology equal to that which they have come to know from its products on the golf course.
“Golf’s increasing global reach, as well as the international scope of the World Golf Championships align closely with Bridgestone’s long history in the sport and our position as the world’s largest manufacturer of tires and rubber products,” said Maasaki Tsuya, CEO, Bridgestone Corporation. “This sponsorship will further enhance the power of the Bridgestone brand and continue to provide additional worldwide channels for us to grow.”
“Bridgestone has been part of the PGA TOUR and World Golf Championships family since 2006, and we are so pleased to extend what has been such a successful partnership through 2018,” said Finchem. “Coupled with their Official Marketing Partnership extension, Bridgestone represents one of the largest partners within the PGA TOUR family. They utilize the PGA TOUR platform on a global scale, activating in impactful and innovative ways, not only in the United States but across Asia and most notably in Japan. Of course, the Bridgestone Invitational, thanks to the leadership and commitment of Bridgestone, continues to showcase the very best in professional golf to the world. It also brings tremendous economic and charitable impact to Northeast Ohio, aligning perfectly with Bridgestone’s commitment to the Northeast Ohio community, which has spanned generations and cannot be understated.”
“Our sponsorship of the Bridgestone Invitational is a tremendous vehicle to promote the Bridgestone brand. It also reconfirms our commitment to the PGA TOUR; worldwide golf fans; and our Akron-area neighbors,” said Gary Garfield, CEO and President, Bridgestone Americas, Inc. “As proud corporate citizens, we are thrilled with the impact the Bridgestone Invitational has in the region.”
About the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational
The Bridgestone Invitational is one of four World Golf Championships sanctioned and organized by the operational committee of the International Federation of PGA Tours, which includes the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour. The other World Golf Championships include the Accenture Match Play Championship, Cadillac Championship and the HSBC Champions.
The Bridgestone Invitational annually donates approximately $1 million to charities throughout Northeast Ohio. Over the years, professional golf at Firestone Country Club has donated more than $22 million to worthy causes in Northeast Ohio, including the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeastern Ohio, Akron Children’s Hospital, University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, and The First Tee Chapters of Akron, Cleveland and Canton.
About Bridgestone Corporation
The Bridgestone Group (Bridgestone Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries including Bridgestone Americas, Inc., Bridgestone Sports Co., Ltd. and Bridgestone Golf, Inc.) is the world's largest manufacturer of tires and rubber products. Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, was established in 1931 and today, the Bridgestone Group has about 180 manufacturing plants and R&D facilities in 25 countries, selling products in over 150 markets worldwide. Tires accounted for approximately 84% of consolidated sales in 2012, with the remainder derived from a broad range of diversified products and services including industrial rubber and chemical products and golf equipment, bicycles and other sporting goods.
About Bridgestone Americas, Inc.:
Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company. BSAM and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires to address the needs of a broad range of customers, including consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies are also engaged in retreading operations throughout the Western Hemisphere and produce air springs, roofing materials, and industrial fibers and textiles. The BSAM family of companies also operates the world’s largest chain of automotive tire and service centers. Guided by its One Team, One Planet message, the company is dedicated to achieving a positive environmental impact in all of the communities it calls home.