Bridgestone Lose Out to Pirelli in Russian Soccer Sponsorship

July 20, 2011

Tyre manufacturer Bridgestone has admitted it has failed to seal a commercial partnership with Russia’s top football cup competition just days after announcing it had acquired the tournament’s title sponsorship rights.

On Friday, Bridgestone released a statement to announce the company had become the title sponsor of the Russian Football Union (RFU) competition. However, on the same day, the RFU unveiled rival tyre manufacturer Pirelli as the sponsor of the tournament in a one-year deal.

Despite admitting the company did not agree with the RFU’s decision to sell the sponsorship rights to Pirelli, Bridgestone insisted that it would not challenge the national body’s announcement.

A statement from Bridgestone read: “Our announcement on July 15, 2011 was based on an agreement in good faith between an agent of the RFU and Bridgestone’s advertising agency, and also a July 4, 2011 announcement by the RFU that the official name of the tournament would be ‘Bridgestone-Cup of Russia on football'”.

“While Bridgestone is not convinced (of) the RFU’s decision to name another company as title sponsor of the 2011-12 season Russian Cup, Bridgestone came to a decision that it cannot continue its role as the title sponsor.

“Bridgestone will, however, continue to explore opportunities in Russia to promote and enhance our brand.”

Bridgestone has been a leading sponsor in sports such as American football and skiing in recent years.