Bridgestone Brand Begins Second Year As Sponsor Of Mark Messier NHL Leadership AwardBridgestone also continues Youth Leadership Award

NASHVILLE/NEW YORK (March 8, 2010) - Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC (BATO) announced today that the Bridgestone brand will begin its second year as the presenting sponsor of the Mark Messier NHL® Leadership Award.

The Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award Presented by Bridgestone recognizes a National Hockey League (NHL) 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.  Last year’s winner was Jarome Iginla.

In addition, the Bridgestone Brand is entering its second year as sponsor of the Bridgestone Mark Messier Youth Leadership Award, a recognition intended to encourage leadership and community spirit and to reward youth hockey players or mentor/coaches for their contributions to youth sports or education.  (For complete award and nomination guidelines for the Bridgestone Mark Messier Youth Leadership Award please visit:

“I’m very excited to continue my partnership with the Bridgestone team,” Messier said. “Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations is a company which shares my passion for excellence and community service.  I’m very gratified that the Bridgestone brand sponsors my NHL Leadership Award and that it supports the Youth Leadership Award in my name.  The Youth Leadership Awards is especially close to my heart as it rewards an amateur player or coach who represents aspects of youth hockey that really make a difference: courage, leadership and community spirit. The 2009 recipient, Tom Barnett, was a very deserving recipient of the award.” Messier concluded.

The Bridgestone Mark Messier Youth Leadership Award will go to the United States or Canadian resident involved in amateur hockey judged to have overcome adversity in achieving his or her goal or dream; promoted community service by promoting youth sports or excellence in academics for athletes; or who has enabled underprivileged kids to participate in hockey.

The award is also open to individuals who have served as mentors or coaches and who, through their involvement over the years in amateur hockey, have made a significant difference in the lives of kids.  Those who will be considered include individuals who have served roles such as coach, league administrator, or sponsor, or who have participated in game officiating, timing and scoring, etc.

 “Whether it’s on the road, on the ice or at the rink, leadership can take many forms,” said Phil Pacsi, Vice President N.A. Consumer Tire Marketing, BATO. “We are delighted to align another NHL marketing platform to the Bridgestone brand with Mark Messier, who set the standard for leadership on the ice and off.  Mark also uniquely enables the Bridgestone brand to promote and reward community leadership throughout North America.”

“The Bridgestone brand is a global leader, and aligning with Mark Messier, one of the greatest leaders in sports, is a natural,” said Brian Jennings, NHL Executive Vice President of Marketing.  “We are delighted that the Bridgestone team continues to take advantage of the NHL’s global brand and the multiple, integrated corporate marketing platforms we offer our partners.”

Serving as title sponsor for The Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award Presented by Bridgestone is just one of numerous exclusive promotional opportunities for the Bridgestone brand as part of a multi-year agreement between BATO, Bridgestone Canada Inc. (BSCA) and the NHL. This partnership has included title sponsorship of the Bridgestone NHL Premiere series in Prague and Stockholm in 2008, the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® in 2009 and 2010, 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 and the NHL All-Star Game. 

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 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 (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

About the National Hockey League Players’ Association:
The National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), established in 1967, is a labour organization 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 relations, product licensing, marketing, international hockey and community relations, all in furtherance of its efforts to promote its members and the game of hockey. In 1999, the NHLPA launched the Goals & Dreams fund as a way for the players to give something back to the game they love. The players’ program has donated full sets of hockey equipment to more than 9,000 economically disadvantaged children in 17 countries and assisted with upgrades and the building of hundreds of arenas world-wide. To date, Goals & Dreams has donated more than $17-million to grassroots hockey programs around the world making it the largest program of its kind. For more information on the NHLPA, please visit

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