Goodyear Announces Winner of Nationwide Contest to Name Newest Blimp

Ohio Resident Wins Use of a Goodyear Blimp for a Day

Jun 21, 2006, 01:00 ET from The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

    AKRON, Ohio, June 21 /PRNewswire/ -- In a gala event held at its
 Wingfoot Lake Airship Hangar today, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
 christened its newest airship: Spirit of Innovation. Matthew Harrelson of
 Uniontown, Ohio submitted the winning name in the company's "Name the
 Blimp" contest and is awarded the Grand Prize, the use of a Goodyear blimp
 for a day. The winning name was officially selected based upon a nationwide
 vote by the American public and a panel of Goodyear judges.
     (Logo: )
     "The response from the American public was both overwhelming and
 gratifying, and I was pleased that the name Spirit of Innovation was
 chosen," said Bob Keegan, CEO and president, Goodyear. "Innovation has been
 a critical part of our evolution as a company, from innovation in our new
 product offerings, to innovation in the way we now do our jobs. The fact
 that the American public agreed with their votes is further proof that
 innovation is becoming synonymous with Goodyear."
     For the first time in the 81-year history of its world-famous airship
 program, Goodyear launched its newest blimp on March 27th without an
 official name. Instead, on April 10th the company unveiled the new blimp
 bearing the world's largest blank nametag, and launched a nationwide
 contest to search for a name. Between April 11th and April 30th, the
 contest enjoyed a groundswell of participation from around the country,
 with unique name suggestions coming from residents in each of the 48
 eligible states and the District of Columbia.
     "I can't believe I won the Goodyear Blimp for a day," said Matthew
 Harrelson. "Living in Northern Ohio my family and I have seen the Goodyear
 blimp many times - but to be able to win it for a day? This is just great!"
     According to Harrelson, who submitted the winning name at 12:04 PM on
 April 11th, he suggested Spirit of Innovation because, as a chemistry
 teacher and Akron-area resident, he was familiar with Goodyear and the
 company's history of innovation. "Living near Goodyear everyone hears when
 they come out with another high-tech product, and having seen Charles
 Goodyear in the National Inventors Hall of Fame, it was easy to connect
 Goodyear and innovation ... and then 'Spirit' just seemed to make the name
 flow better," said Harrelson.
     Harrelson, who teaches at Hudson High School in Hudson, Ohio, first
 read about the "Name the Blimp" contest in a local paper and decided to
 enter a name. While he is still working through his plans for the blimp
 with the Airship Operations team at Goodyear, Harrelson said he would like
 to take his family and some friends up for a ride, donate at least one ride
 to charity and do something special for the schools where he and his wife
 teach. "I've been discussing the options with my wife, who is also a
 teacher, and I'm sure we'll come up with something great."
     From the more than 21,000 unique names submitted, a panel of judges
 selected ten finalist names based on their ability to reflect the storied
 history of the Goodyear airship, its long tradition of public service, the
 grace and majesty of air flight, and Goodyear's history of innovation and
 progress. Between May 7th and May 31st, America and a panel of Goodyear
 representatives voted, with Spirit of Innovation ultimately receiving the
 most votes. Those submitting the other nine finalist names, once confirmed
 as winners, will each receive a new set of Goodyear tires. The names were:
 American Dream, Freedom, Liberty, Patriot, Patriot of Peace, Pride of
 America, Spirit of Endurance, Spirit of Ingenuity, Spirit of Innovation,
 The Spirit of Peace.
     Goodyear and Innovation
     Since Charles Goodyear first discovered the process for vulcanizing
 rubber in 1843 and opened the door for the broad use of rubber in consumer
 products, the name Goodyear has been synonymous with innovation. From the
 early days when Goodyear introduced the first tubeless automotive tire and
 the first American-made synthetic rubber tire, the company has been leading
 the industry in technological advancements and design innovations. In
 recent years, Goodyear has accelerated its release of innovative new
 products that feature relevant technologies and deliver real-life benefits
 to consumers. Included is the pioneering TripleTred Technology(R) for
 confident handling in any weather conditions. Goodyear's most recent
 cutting-edge introductions have incorporated the use of the latest
 high-tech materials, including the use of DuPont(TM) KEVLAR(R) in its
 Wrangler(R) and Fortera(R) tires featuring SilentArmor Technology(TM) and
 DuPont(TM) KEVLAR(R) and carbon fiber in its new Eagle with ResponsEdge
     DuPont(TM) and KEVLAR(R) are trademarks or registered trademarks of
 DuPont or its affiliates.
     The Goodyear Airship Program
     Goodyear's blimp program began in 1925, when the Company built its
 first helium-filled public relations airship, the Pilgrim. In 1928,
 then-Chairman P.W. Litchfield began the tradition of naming its North
 American-based blimps after winners of the America's Cup yacht race. The
 tradition continued over most of the program's 80-year history, with just a
 few exceptions. A list of winners from past America's Cup races whose names
 Goodyear selected for its airship fleet includes: Stars & Stripes,
 Columbia, Ranger, Rainbow, Enterprise, Resolute, Reliance, Defender,
 Vigilant, Volunteer, Mayflower, Puritan, and America. Within the past 40
 years, Goodyear has selected other non-Cup winner names to grace the sides
 of its blimps. Those names included Europa, Spirit of Akron, Spirit of
 Goodyear and Eagle.
     Contest Details
     The list of ten finalist names was posted on the official contest web site at 12:01 am ET on May 7th, 2006. The
 online voting period ended promptly at 11:59 p.m. ET on May 31st, 2006. The
 name with the highest score from this popular voting combined with the
 votes of a panel of Goodyear representatives, determined the winning name.
 For complete details and official rules, go to
     About The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
     Goodyear is the world's largest tire company. The company manufactures
 tires, engineered rubber products and chemicals in more than 90 facilities
 in 28 countries around the world. Goodyear employs about 80,000 people
 worldwide. For more information on Goodyear's tires, go to

SOURCE The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company