August 9, 2009
Bridgestone, International Federation of PGA Tours reach agreement in principle to extend title sponsorship of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational
Details of four-year renewal to be finalized in coming weeks
Akron, Ohio - PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem, representing the International Federation of PGA Tours, and Mark
Emkes, representing Bridgestone Corporation ("Bridgestone") announced today that the two organizations have reached an agreement
in principle to extend Bridgestone's title sponsorship of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational through
2014. While details of the agreement are currently being finalized, Finchem and Emkes, a member of Bridgestone's Board of
Directors and the Chairman, CEO and President of its subsidiary, Bridgestone Americas, Inc., made the announcement today
during the final-round of the 2009 Bridgestone Invitational and confirmed the agreement in principle during Sunday's broadcast
on CBS Sports.
Bridgestone first began sponsoring the Bridgestone Invitational in 2006, and the current title sponsorship agreement runs
through 2010. Vijay Singh is the defending champion, and Tiger Woods has won the event six times.
The Bridgestone Invitational is played at the famed Firestone Country Club's South Course in Akron, Ohio. Also announced
today was an agreement reached with Firestone Country Club to continue as host organization through 2014.
"The tough economy has certainly proved challenging for everyone, so it's good to be able to share some positive news,"
said Emkes. "This agreement in principal will keep the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club through 2014.
This world-class event provides a tremendous boost to the economy in Northeast Ohio, generates significant contributions
to local charities such as The First Tee and gives us incredible global exposure for the Bridgestone and Firestone brands."
"Bridgestone has been a terrific partner of the PGA TOUR and the International Federation of PGA Tours since 2005. The company's
commitment to the Northeast Ohio community spans generations and is well documented," said Finchem. "We are so pleased that
we have reached this agreement in principle and are excited to share the news during the final round of what has been another
spectacular Bridgestone Invitational. The event, thanks to the leadership and commitment of Bridgestone, continues to showcase
the very best in professional golf to the world, all while bringing tremendous economic and charitable impact to Northeast
Ohio. I am pleased that this announcement continues the trend of companies continuing to see the value of sponsoring PGA
TOUR events, or in this case, a World Golf Championships event."
"I am so pleased to announce that we are extending our agreement to host the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational
for four years, mirroring the extension of Bridgestone's title sponsorship," said Firestone Country Club General Manager
Mark Gore. "This agreement ensures that the long-standing tradition of world-class golf here at Firestone will continue.
Our members and employee partners look forward to working with Bridgestone and the International Federation of PGA Tours
to maintain this event as one of the premier tournaments in the world of golf."
The Bridgestone Invitational is one of four World Golf Championships sanctioned and organized by the International Federation
of PGA Tours. The other World Golf Championships include the Accenture Match Play Championship, the CA Championship and
the HSBC Champions.
The Bridgestone Group (Bridgestone Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries including Bridgestone
Americas, Inc., Bridgestone Sports Co., Ltd. and Bridgestone Golf Inc.) is the world's largest manufacturer of tires and
rubber products. Bridgestone Corporation was founded in 1931 in Japan and today sells products in over 150 countries worldwide.
Tires account for about 80 percent of consolidated sales, with the remainder made up of a wide range of industrial and consumer
products which includes golf balls and clubs, bicycles and other sporting goods.
About Bridgestone Americas, Inc.
Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone
Corporation, the world's largest tire and rubber company. BSAM and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide
range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate 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 are also engaged in retreading operations throughout the Americas and produce air springs,
roofing materials, and industrial fibers and textiles. The BSAM family of companies also operates the world's largest chain
of automotive tire and service centers. Guided by its One Team, One Planet message, the company is dedicated to achieving
a positive environmental impact in all of the communities it calls home.
About the International Federation of PGA Tours
The International Federation of PGA Tourswas formed in 1996 by golf's five
world governing bodies – the European Tour, Japan Golf Tour Organization, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine
Tour (South Africa) with the purpose of providing a forum for the world's professional golf organizations to discuss issues
of mutual importance and, together, develop and promote the game of golf on a global basis. The Asian Tour joined the Federation
in November 1999. As part of its mission, the Federation initiated the World Golf Championships in 1999. The Federation
was expanded in June 2009 and now includes the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia,
Sunshine Tour, China Golf Association, Korea Professional Golf Tour Corp., Professional Golf Tour of India, LPGA Tour, Ladies
European Tour, Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour, Japan LPGA, Korean LPGA and the Ladies Asian Golf Tour.
ClubCorp, The World Leader in Private Clubs, is the owner and operator of Firestone Country Club and over
150 clubs worldwide that host other marquee events including the LPGA's Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills in Rancho
Mirage, Calif., and the Champions Tour's Triton Financial Classic at The Hills Country Club in Austin, Texas. Other prestigious
clubs include: Barton Creek Resort and Spa (Austin, TX); The Homestead (Hot Springs, VA); Indian Wells Country Club (Indian
Wells, CA); Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club (Coto de Caza, CA); Stonebriar Country Club (Frisco, TX); Gleneagles Country
Club (Plano, TX); and Aspen Glen Club (Carbondale, CO).