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GOODYEAR BURNS RUBBER OUT OF FORMULA ONE SPONSORSHIP
Published November 20, 1997
OH-based Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. yesterday "decided to pull out of Formula One racing" after the '98 season, according to David Adams of the AKRON BEACON JOURNAL. The decision, which ends Goodyear's 33-year history with the sport, is a "sharp break from the company's strategy to use Formula One racing as a marketing vehicle to reach millions of consumers overseas." Goodyear spokesperson Chris Aked said that circuit rule changes will mean higher tire development costs and that overall the "return on the investment was no longer worth it." Adams reports that Goodyear's decision to pull out of Formula One "comes after this year's success by competitor Bridgestone Corp." Adams: "Until Bridgestone entered Formula One this season ... Goodyear had dominated the sport." Adams adds that Goodyear will continue to be a main sponsor of the NASCAR circuit, as in April, the company signed a three-year deal to be the sole tire supplier to NASCAR drivers (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 11/20). The FINANCIAL TIMES reports that Groupe Michelin of France and Italy's Pirelli tires "are known to have been studying the possibility of rejoining" Formula One, even before Goodyear's decision (FINANCIAL TIMES, 11/20).