Goodyear Customizes Akron-Made Tires to Honor America's Armed Forces

AKRON, Ohio, July 5, 2012 – As a further reflection of its decades of military support, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, exclusive tire supplier of NASCAR’s three major national series and NHRA Racing’s Top Fuel and Funny Car classes, is honoring and supporting U.S. Armed Forces with the launch of the “Goodyear Gives Back” campaign, a fund-raising effort designed to generate support for the U.S. Armed Forces and their families who make sacrifices to protect Americans’ freedom.

Goodyear is transforming the appearance of its iconic NASCAR and NHRA race tires over the July 4th holiday race weekend, replacing the traditional “Goodyear Eagle” sidewalls with a symbolic yellow ribbon design reading “Support Our Troops.” The tires, built in Goodyear’s Akron, Ohio Innovation Center, will be prominently featured during this weekend’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, July 5-8 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

A number of initiatives are part of this year’s program, including at-track activities, the launch of, and multiple opportunities for racing fans to participate – all of which benefits Support Our Troops.“Soldiers and their families make tremendous sacrifices for us every day. We hope that by changing the look of our race tires to raise awareness, along with Goodyear’s donation and fund-raising efforts, we can help make a difference in the lives of the troops and their families,” said Garth Ely, Goodyear director of brand marketing. “From outfitting Humvees and planes, to patrolling the coast with the Goodyear blimp after Pearl Harbor, Goodyear has been supporting the military for more than 100 years.”  
To kick off this year’s program, Goodyear is leading the way with its own donation to Support Our Troops. During the “Goodyear Gives Back” event from July 1 through August 31, Goodyear will donate $1 per select Goodyear tire sold up to $250,000* to the Support Our Troops organization. Over the past two years, contributions generated through the Goodyear effort have amounted to nearly $400,000 in cash and product, and have benefited U.S. service men and women directly and through the highly effective programs operated by Support Our Troops. This nonprofit nationwide organization works to bolster the morale and well-being of America’s troops and their families by delivering over $20 million per year in care packs and requested items to the front lines, providing positive support at home, kids’ camp assistance and more.

“Goodyear has played an integral role in efforts to raise awareness and funds to help impact the lives of U.S. Armed Forces and their families,” said Martin C. Boire, executive director of Support Our Troops.  “We appreciate all that Goodyear, NASCAR and NHRA are doing by providing so many ways for the fans to show their support for our service men and women through this year’s campaign.”To extend the impact of this year’s program, Goodyear, NASCAR and a group of volunteers teamed up at Daytona International Speedway to fill care packages for the troops with personalized “thank you” cards and other essential items donated by Goodyear and NASCAR sponsors and partners. To show its support, UPS, the world's largest package delivery company, will ship these care packages to Bagram Air Force base in Afghanistan free of charge.

Northeast Ohio-based Summit Racing Equipment, a leading direct marketer of high performance automotive parts and accessories, will also be doing its part to help Goodyear support the cause. Throughout July and August, Summit will be actively promoting the program in its network of retail stores and through shipments to online customers.

Consumers and race fans can personally get involved in this year’s “Goodyear Gives Back” campaign by visiting and bidding on authentic, race-used Goodyear NASCAR and NHRA tires autographed by drivers who used them in these races, as well as other unique items including authentic motorsports experiences and memorabilia that are up for auction with all proceeds going directly to Support Our Troops.
Consumers can also make direct donations to Support Our Troops through the Goodyear website, purchase Goodyear Gives Back merchandise through the auction link (while supplies last), and support local Goodyear dealers across the country who are backing the effort to acknowledge the sacrifice and help make a difference in the lives of military members and their families.

“Along with the many options Goodyear is offering, we encourage consumers to help support the cause by spreading the word to their friends, family and any military members they know and encouraging them to visit  to get involved,” added Kris Kienzl, Goodyear marketing manager.  

In 2011, Goodyear customers, including its retail stores, independent dealers and Discount Tire, provided full mounting services free of charge to make sure donated tires were properly mounted to the vehicles of the troops and their families. This year, retailers will be planning local events and promotions throughout the country.  Goodyear, the largest producer of military tires in the U.S., has a longstanding history with the U.S. Armed Forces, with over 100 years of commitment to building innovative and reliable equipment to support and protect our troops. Goodyear’s commitment extends beyond products and charitable donations; priding itself on hosting events at U.S. military bases throughout the year, bringing service men and women and their families a chance to interact with drivers and take rides on the Goodyear Blimp.

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