January 23, 2013

Bridgestone Reaches Milestone of 200k Consumer Ball-Fittings; Grows Impact through New Technologies

COVINGTON, GA — Bridgestone Golf, the #1 ball-fitter in golf, further cemented that title today when it announced that the company has surpassed more than 200,000 consumer golf ball fittings. The "Bridgestone Challenge," the company's in-person, free, live launch monitor-based ball-fitting program has been educating golfers on how to find the right ball for their game since 2007. Now with 26 teams throughout the United States, Bridgestone Golf fits more than 1,500 golfers per week, during the golf season.

The Bridgestone Challenge is indicative of Bridgestone Golf's overall business philosophy – one in which amateur golfers who tee it up on Saturday and pay for their greens fees are just as important to the company as its TOUR players when it comes to product design. With ball-fitting, Bridgestone offers a service previously reserved for the world's best players to all golfers. Using launch monitors, Bridgestone's team of ball-fitting technicians analyze golfers' swings and make a science-based recommendation as to which ball is the best choice for each individual.

"One size fits all is square wheel thinking; customization is the key to sustained success in business these days," said Dan Murphy, Vice President of Marketing - Bridgestone Golf, Inc. "Saying all golfers should use one ball is as ridiculous as asserting that we should all play stiff-shafted blade irons and wear medium size shirts. Ball-fitting has separated us from the pack and allowed us to grow to #2 in share. We have great momentum thanks to our ability and desire to fit consumers to a ball that is suited to their swing. Going forward, we realize the way to spread the word to more people is by using technology. Our B-FIT and online selection tool have been well received by the golf world, and as a result, we've invested in expanding those services in 2013."

In addition to the Bridgestone Challenge live ball-fitting events, Bridgestone Golf is set to launch an iPad compatible version of its popular B-FIT Video Chat service for retailers. The new iPad enabled technology will allow Bridgestone to extend the test program that has been at local Atlanta golf retailers since last summer to nationwide green grass and golf specialty retail locations in 2013. In the test market, consumers have raved about its convenience, ease of use and the unique ability it affords to have one-on-one, face-to-face conversations with Bridgestone's ball-fitting experts. Bridgestone's B-FIT video-chat program is powered by the OpenTok Platform from TokBox. OpenTok allows face-to-face communications to be embedded into any site or service. Over 50,000 TokBox partners are currently using the technology worldwide, but Bridgestone Golf's version is the only to ever be used in a retail in-store environment in any industry.

Adding to Bridgestone's Ball-Fitting technology revolution is a newly designed golf ball selection tool that allows users to see how they stack up against the entire universe of golfers who have been fit by Bridgestone. Using a data aggregator, Bridgestone's new online golf ball selection tool, provides golfers with one of two ways to enter data about their golf game and then based on the existing data collected from hundreds of thousands, the tool will calculate what percentage of different categories of golfer a user most closely resembles. With the new system not only will golfers receive an accurate recommendation, but also they will be able to accurately compare themselves to the universe of Bridgestone's golf database.

Bridgestone will introduce the new ball selection tool to attendees at the 2013 PGA Merchandise Show, and it will go live on the Bridgestone website the first week in February. Upon official launch, the new selection tool will be available at www.bridgestonegolf.com/product/ball-selection-guide. For more information on Bridgestone's entire suite of golf ball selection services, visit www.bridgestonegolf.com.

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Editor's Note: High-Res images of all Tour Staff and all new Bridgestone equipment are available upon request.

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 golfers including Fred Couples, Paula Creamer, Matt Kuchar, Davis Love III and Brandt Snedeker. Bridgestone Golf, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bridgestone Sports Co. Ltd., whose headquarters are in Tokyo. For more information visit http://www.bridgestonegolf.com.

Contact Information

Jared Kelowitz
jaredk@jdpr.com
JDPR, 864-233-3776 x 24