SBD/March 11, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Firestone Staying In IndyCar Series After All, Signs Deal Through '13

Firestone agrees to extension to continue supplying tires to Izod IndyCar Series
The Izod IndyCar Series and Firestone Friday agreed to a two-year extension of their partnership. The agreement, which will see Firestone continue to provide tires through '13, ends several months of concern that the Tennessee-based company would end its support. Doing so would have left IndyCar scrambling to find a new partner who could quickly develop a tire sophisticated enough to support racing on ovals, street and road courses. IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard said, "Firestone has been an important partner for the series since 1911, so we're glad we could work this out. This was important to our teams." The deal is mostly value-in-kind and will see Firestone continue to supply tires to the series, which helps save teams an estimated $750,000 a year. Under terms of the agreement, Firestone will no longer provide tires to the Indy Lights series after the '11 season. Firestone is currently the title sponsor of the Indy Lights series, though that deal also expires after this year. Bernard said that IndyCar will look to find a new tire manufacturer for that series that it could potentially graduate to the IndyCar Series after '13. Firestone has been the official tire of IndyCar since '00.
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