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Icons In and Above The Stadium: Goodyear’s Sporting History

The Goodyear brand has long been synonymous with sports around the world. Through partnerships with some of the world’s leading teams and the iconic Goodyear Blimp, the company has been an ever-present feature at some of the biggest sports and entertainment events on the planet. This relationship with elite sport has helped turn Goodyear into one of the most recognisable brands in the world.

The very first Goodyear Blimps first took flight in the 1910s and Goodyear was a key pioneer in developing this new form of air travel. By the 1950s, the Goodyear Blimp began to be used for aerial television coverage, debuting with the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl American college football game in 1955 as the first aerial camera platform for the industry. Since then, the Goodyear Blimp has been a permanent fixture at sporting and cultural events around the globe, from the Super Bowl to Royal Weddings and so much in between.

Today, a trio of Goodyear Blimps stationed across the United States attend around 200 events each year, including the Daytona 500, the Super Bowl and PGA Tour golf tournaments. In recent years, the Goodyear Blimp has also returned to Europe, flying over races like the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Nürburgring and millions of onlookers in cities including London, Copenhagen, Bled and Milan.

Today’s model is a semi-rigid airship, and the Goodyear Blimp is able to ‘park’ in the sky completely still and silently. This characteristic makes it perfect for capturing live aerial television footage from the best seat in the house with less interference and disruption than a helicopter. It’s ideal for those tense moments before the final whistle!

In recent decades, Goodyear has had partnerships with Bayern Munich, Juventus and Boca Juniors, each the most successful team in Germany, Italy and Argentina respectively. A partnership with English team Wolverhampton Wanderers came about as a result of the town’s Goodyear factory, amplifying a local relationship that extended far beyond the soccer pitch.

Another local partnership through sports is Goodyear’s relationship with the NBA basketball team Cleveland Cavaliers. During that partnership, all-time leading NBA scorer LeBron James was part of the team, wearing the Wingfoot on his jersey. Not only are the Cavaliers the local team to Goodyear’s headquarters, both Goodyear and James hail from the city of Akron, bringing together two local icons. Furthermore, his wife Savannah James christened the new Wingfoot Two Goodyear Blimp in 2016.

Motorsport has been a huge part of Goodyear’s sporting history, with success on the racetrack not just promoting the brand but driving new technologies and innovations. As the official tyre of NASCAR, Goodyear has been an integral part of North America’s most popular motorsport series for decades, and with 368 Formula 1 Grands Prix wins – more than any other tyre manufacturer – that success has spread across the world, too. Today, Goodyear showcases its leading technology in almost every type of motorsport imaginable, from electric to endurance, off-road to stock cars.

Whether it’s through the Goodyear Blimp’s presence in the skies above some of the world’s biggest events, partnerships with legends on the soccer pitch and basketball court, or developing technology on the racetrack, Goodyear has been synonymous with sport for much of its 125-year history, becoming an instantly recognisable brand in the process