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SBD/March 8, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship
Published March 8, 2011
END OF THE ROAD: In Nashville, G. Chambers Williams III notes Firestone, which will exit IndyCar at the end of this season, "began sponsoring Indy Lights in 1991 and returned to the Indianapolis 500 in 1995" before become the "exclusive tire" of IndyCar in '02. Bridgestone Firestone Motorsports spokesperson Mark Robinson said, "We achieved all of our goals and more since we came back, and we have had a great relationship with IndyCar. The relationship (led to) increased tire sales and brand exposure. But we decided it was time to move on." However, marketing research firm FanLab LLC Dir Brian Evans said he was "initially surprised to hear Firestone was pulling out, because it has been partners with Indy for so long, and it's a great way for the company to show the prowess of its products." Evans: "There isn't the same opportunity for a tire company to do that with baseball, football or hockey" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 3/8).
ROUNDUP: The U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association has named Marriott Int'l as its official hotel and lodging partner. As part of the deal, Marriott Hotels & Resorts will be prominently featured on the competition uniforms of U.S. alpine and freestyle skiers as well as nordic sports athletes. Marriott properties will also serve as headquarters hotels at major USSA events (USSA)....Switzerland-based bank UBS Thursday "signed a deal to become the title sponsor" for the April 17 F1 Chinese Grand Prix, "two years after previous partner Sinopec raced out of the circuit due to mounting losses." UBS "declined to reveal the deal value" (SHANGHAI DAILY, 3/4).