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  • Bridgestone Tees It Up for Fans at Olympic Course


    (ATR) Brazilians and Olympic fans alike can learn to swing a club, play miniature golf or take a shot at nearest to the pin at the Bridgestone interactive Fan Zone.
    Brazilian instructors teach the game to visitors (ATR)

    The Worldwide Olympic sponsor is partnering with the International Golf Federation to support and celebrate golf at the Games with the fan friendly exhibit on the grounds of the Reserva de Marapendi Olympic course. It is located just across a pedestrian path from the par three, 17th hole.

    Bridgestone Americas vice-president of sports marketing Phil Pacsi told Around the Rings about the benefits and synergies of the activation during Friday’s second round of the Olympic tournament.

    “With the Agenda 2020 to advance and promote sport to consumers and engagement, with golf being re-introduced as an Olympic sport it was a great way to begin discussions with the IGF and IOC and say how can we make this happen,” Pacsi told ATR. “This is the reality that you see.”

    Bridgestone's Phil Pacsi at the Olympic course (ATR)
    “The two brands – Bridgestone Golf and Bridgestone Tire really play off of each other so even though golf is not in our category at the Olympics, it is still the brand recognition that they gain for Bridgestone being a top sponsor,” Pacsi advised as Bridgestone Golf is not part of the Olympic sponsorship.

    “These are things we do on a regular basis with the PGA Tour, but it has been a pretty incredible experience with the Olympic movement,” Pacsi said. "We love that we’ve been able to brand the space – which is unheard of in the Olympic movement. We are in the venue, but not in the line of sight of play which follows all the rules, but allows us to promote our product.”

    Spectators who visit the exhibit can receive a quick lesson from certified Brazilian instructors, an opportunity that has been a hit among kids and others who are probably witnessing the sport for the first time this week.

    “The fan response has been great - in two days, we’ve put over 600 people through the experience,” Pacsi said. “It’s exciting to see the kids running around and playing.”

    Bridgestone will also be donating golf equipment to locals through the Brazilian Confederation to help promote and grow the game in the South American country.

    Bridgestone – the world’s largest tire and rubber company – signed on as a Worldwide Olympic Partner in June 2014 and is the official tire supplier of Rio 2016. Bridgestone marketing rights are limited to Brazil, Korea, Japan and the United States until the end of 2016, but become worldwide from 2017 onwards. The IOC partnership runs through 2024.

    Bridgestone is also receiving some exposure at the Rio Olympics as U.S. golfers Matt Kuchar and Stacy Lewis are sponsored athletes.

    Golf is one of several sports sponsorships that Bridgestone is closely involved with in addition to the Olympics. The corporation is also the official tire sponsor for the National Football League and the National Hockey League.

    The 5th hole of the miniature golf course (ATR)
    “What makes the Olympics special is the global nature of it – It gives us a golf platform to present our brand in a very consistent manner,” said the Bridgestone vice-president. “It absolutely does lock out our competitors and we are really able to continue to showcase sport.”

    Excitement is already building within Bridgestone as the torch will soon be passed from Rio 2016 to Tokyo 2020. Golf is popular in Japan and the Japanese capital is the corporation’s global headquarters.

    “Tokyo 2020 is going to be a huge deal, so this is just a way to figure out where we are started here and where we can end up,” Pacsi said. “Tokyo is going to be an incredible vision for Bridgestone and a step up of the awareness of what Bridgestone is and a step up of our partnership with the IOC.”

    Written by Brian Pinelli at Reserva de Marapendi

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