The world’s number one tyre and rubber company reinforced its premium position with a classy presence at Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire, to suggest that the sport is the perfect platform to work alongside.
Bridgestone brought back an English-based Challenge Tour event for the first time since 2012 through its sponsorship, which was eventually won by young Belgian Thomas Detry, who carded a staggering -29 score including a course record on day one.
Around the perimeters of the course, Bridgestone’s award winning DriveGuard tyre was showcased at a special driving area, which was also supplemented by a virtual reality unit where viewers could feel the benefits of driving on the product after a puncture.
The revitalised Firestone brand, complete with its vibrant music partnerships, was also showcased to visitors, while the sheer scale of the Bridgestone business was also brought to life through its commercial and agricultural tyre ranges.
Bridgestone’s Brand Manager Peter Coleman said: “We are absolutely delighted with the success of our first Bridgestone Challenge golf event. It has allowed us to communicate directly with players, golf enthusiasts and the visiting public.”
“We have been able to showcase the very best of our products at a glorious setting and have been able to meet some great people along the way.
“And of course, we would all like to congratulate Thomas Detry on a phenomenal four days with us at Heythrop Park. He is a charming young man and clearly an exceptionally talented golfer.”
Bridgestone’s decision to embark on a high profile golf sponsorship represents a significant change from more commonplace sports partnerships in the tyre industry, with the company keen to create a stage for some of the most talented rising stars to realise their dreams and move a step closer to a European Tour card.
The Bridgestone Challenge formed the focal point of a package of golf sponsorships in 2016, which also included the creation of the first ever DriveGuard Trophy, which reached out to thousands of amateur players.
Winners of the DriveGuard Trophy went on to play at the pro-am of the Bridgestone Challenge in another highlight at Heythrop Park, while a third tier of sponsorship will be activated at the British Masters, supported by Sky Sports, in October.
All three are interlinked to realise the company’s aim of engaging with players across all levels of the sport.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive Officer of the European Tour, said: “We would not only like to thank Bridgestone for helping to bring back an English based Challenge Tour event for the first time in four years, but we would like to congratulate the company for such a stunning presence at Heythrop Park. It was befitting of their premium status and we were all taken aback with the spectacle created – both on and off the course.
“The commitment Bridgestone are showing to encourage the growth of the game in England will hopefully lead to similar success stories in future years and we would like to thank everyone connected with the company for making such a memorable first impression.”