Goodyear, Daytona Speedway sign five-year deal

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Greg Smith, publisher of Modern Tire Dealer, filed this report upon his return from Daytona Beach, Fla.:

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. used the Daytona 500 weekend as the backdrop to announce it has signed a five-year agreement with Daytona International Speedway to be the "Official Tire" of the speedway, beginning with the 2005 season.

"We've been at this track since the day it opened, and look forward to being here for a long time to come," said Jon Rich, president of Goodyear North American Tire, during a press conference that featured NASCAR racing legend Richard Petty.

"This relationship is great for Goodyear and its customers. It also symbolizes the link between Goodyear's racing heritage and the development of our passenger tires, particularly the high-performance Eagle brand."

Key elements of the agreement are:

* Title Sponsorship of Daytona's new FanZone attraction -- Goodyear Legends Hall of Fame. Pictures and biographies of racers are displayed in this area, located between the two main NASCAR Nextel Cup garages so fans are able to look through glass into the stalls of the various race teams.

* Two Goodyear-branded hospitality club suites in the new infield tower behind Victory Circle. (The Goodyear logos are seen prominently from most vantage points at the track.)

* Extension of Goodyear's Daytona USA sponsorship with the Goodyear Walk of Heritage attraction.

Goodyear signage throughout the FanZone featured its slogan, "We race, we learn, you win."

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