August 21, 2005
Bridgestone Brand Becomes Title Sponsor of World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club
Bridgestone Brand also will serve as Umbrella Sponsor of the World Golf Championships series
Akron, Ohio — The International Federation of PGA Tours today announced that the Bridgestone brand will serve as
the title sponsor of the World Golf Championships tournament at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. The tournament, currently
titled the World Golf Championships NEC-Invitational, will become the Bridgestone Invitational in 2006. The agreement spans
"We are pleased to welcome the Bridgestone brand as an umbrella sponsor of the World Golf Championships and as title sponsor
of the Bridgestone Invitational," said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem on behalf of the International Federation of PGA
Tours. "We look forward to a long-term relationship with the Bridgestone family of companies and a bright future for this
This sponsorship agreement ensures that the Bridgestone Invitational will remain at the Firestone Country Club in Akron,
Ohio for the next five years. The 2006 Bridgestone Invitational will be held Aug. 22-27.
"We are honored to sponsor such a world-class tournament, especially since the Bridgestone Invitational will be played at
the world-renowned Firestone Country Club," said Mark A. Emkes, chairman and CEO, Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc. and
Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC. "Our company has been part of the Akron community for more than a century,
and to have the tournament played at Firestone is a wonderful connection with our heritage and to our future. We look forward
to working with the International Federation of PGA Tours and the City of Akron to continue the great tradition of this
Since 1984, the tournament at Firestone C.C. has donated more than $15 million to local charities in the Akron area. The
Bridgestone Invitational is eager continue this tradition of giving and will continue to provide meaningful support to local
Bridgestone Corporation is the world's largest manufacturer of tires and other rubber products. The company also manufactures
a broad range of diversified products, which include industrial rubber and chemical products, and sporting goods. Bridgestone
first began making golf balls in 1935 and has a long and distinguished history in the sport. After becoming the leading
golf equipment supplier to the Japanese market, Bridgestone entered the U.S. market in 1983, marketing its products under
the Precept brand.
Beginning this year, the company introduced the Bridgestone Golf brand to America as a premium Tour brand, with PGA TOUR
players Stuart Appleby, Nick Price, Shigeki Maruyama and Fred Couples representing the Bridgestone brand.
"This is a very exciting time for the Bridgestone family of companies," said Shigeo Watanabe, chairman, CEO and president
of Bridgestone Corporation. "We're thrilled to be teaming with our Americas operations and our Bridgestone sports and golf
divisions to sponsor such a prestigious event on the PGA TOUR. Just as in tires and in other rubber products—Bridgestone
Golf is known for its precision and performance. What a great way to showcase our great brands and our passion for excellence,"
The Bridgestone Invitational became a part of the World Golf Championships in 1999 as the NEC Invitational. NEC had been
title sponsor of the tournament since 1984.
"In welcoming Bridgestone, I would also like to express our gratitude to NEC," added Finchem. "Its support has helped elevate
this tournament into one of the premier championships in golf."
The World Golf Championships feature elite players in a variety of competitive formats at venues around the world. Since
the series debut in 1999, World Golf Championships have been held in seven countries.
When the Algarve World Cup in Portugal is held this November, that number will increase to eight. The remaining 2005 World
Golf Championships are the American Express Championship at San Francisco's Harding Park Golf Course, Oct. 4-9, and the
Algarve World Cup in Portugal, Nov. 15-20 at the Victoria Clube de Golfe-Vilamoura, in the Algarve region of Portugal. The
first World Golf Championships event of the year, the Accenture Match Play Championship, took place in February at La Costa
Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif. and was won by David Toms. Accenture, American Express, and Portugal are worldwide Umbrella
Sponsors of the World Golf Championships, while JELD-WEN and Kohler are Official Sponsors. Prior to becoming an Umbrella
Sponsor of the World Golf Championship next year, Bridgestone is an Official Sponsor for 2005.
# # #
About the World Golf Championships:
This year marks the seventh year of the World Golf Championships, which debuted in 1999. The World Golf Championships are
sanctioned and organized by the International Federation of PGA Tours, which includes the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan
Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Southern Africa Tour. The World Golf Championships include the Accenture
Match Play Championship, American Express Championship, NEC Invitational and Algarve World Cup in Portugal. For more information,
please visit worldgolfchampionships.com.
About Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc.:
Nashville-based Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc. (BSAH) is the U.S. subsidiary of the Bridgestone Corporation, the world's
largest tire and rubber company. BSAH and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone,
Firestone, Dayton and associate and private 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 also produce air springs, roofing materials, synthetic rubber and industrial fibers and textiles and operate
the world's largest chain of automotive tire and service centers.
About Bridgestone Corporation:
Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is the world's largest tire and rubber company. In addition to tires for
use in a wide variety of applications, it manufactures a broad range of diversified products, which include industrial rubber
and chemical products and sporting goods. Its products are sold in over 150 countries and territories around the world.
About Bridgestone Sports:
Bridgestone Sports Co., Ltd. manufactures and markets premium sporting goods equipment and accessories globally. Bridgestone
Sports' history of innovation has made them the #1 golf equipment manufacturer in Japan, with greater than a 40% market
share of the Japanese golf ball market. In addition to their global presence in golf, Bridgestone Sports utilizes its proprietary
precision engineering to create quality racquet sports equipment as well, including a full line of tennis racquets, tennis
balls, badminton racquets, racquet sports shoes and apparel. For more information on Bridgestone Sports visit http://www.bs-sports.co.jp/english/.
About Bridgestone Golf:
Bridgestone Golf, Inc., based in Covington, GA, manufactures and markets premium golf balls, clubs and accessories under
the Precept and Bridgestone brand names. Bridgestone is represented on a world stage by a number of internationally famed
golfers including, Stuart Appleby, Fred Couples, Shigeki Maruyama and Nick Price. Bridgestone Golf, Inc. is a wholly owned
subsidiary of Bridgestone Sports Co. Ltd., whose headquarters are in Tokyo.
Director, Public Relations
World Golf Championships
Tel: 904-273-3293/904-631-2999 (mobile)
Director of Media Relations
Tel: 615-937-1497/615-419-4565 (mobile)
Jeff Dezen Public Relations (JDPR)
864.233.3776, ext. 11/864.630.7187 (mobile)
# # #
Bridgestone Golf, Inc., based in Covington, GA, manufactures and markets premium
golf balls, clubs and accessories under the Bridgestone and Precept brand names.
Bridgestone is represented on a world stage by a number of internationally famed
Fred Couples, Matt Kuchar, Davis Love III,
Nick Price, Brandt Snedeker, Karrie Webb and Paula Creamer.
Bridgestone Golf, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bridgestone Sports Co. Ltd.,
whose headquarters are in Tokyo. For more information visit www.bridgestonegolf.com.
Bridgestone Golf, Inc. is proud to be the #1 Ball Fitter in Golf as the industry
leader in live launch monitor fittings. Bridgestone provides three ways for golfers
to find the ball that best fits their game: live fittings through the
Bridgestone Ball Fitting Challenge, live online
chats with ball fitting
experts through its B-FIT service, and an easily accessible
Online Ball Selection Guide. For more
information on ball fitting, including a complete schedule of Ball Fitting Challenge
events, visit www.bridgestonegolf.com.