POMPANO BEACH, Fla., May 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: GT) today unveiled the Spirit of Goodyear bearing a temporary "Lightyear" name on its right side in honor of the company's involvement in the highly anticipated DisneyPixar movie, CARS, which opens in theaters nationwide on June 9, 2006. In the movie, Goodyear inspires all of the tires, as well as one of the characters: the high-flying "Lightyear" blimp fashioned after Goodyear's popular airships. The Spirit of Goodyear's first official role with the new name decal will be participating in the CARS World Premiere celebration at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC, on Friday, May 26, 2006, where it will provide World Premiere event coverage, including red- carpet activities. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060519/CLF038 ) (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050204/GTLOGO ) "We are honored by the recognition we have been given in this film," said Joey Viselli, Director, Marketing Services, Goodyear North America. "This is the first time in more than 80 years our blimp has displayed something other than Goodyear on its side, so this is truly a special occasion." The makeover process required more than 250 man-hours of work by Goodyear's airship crew, with the blimp entering its Florida hangar this week for the Lightyear logo transformation. Workers cleaned the right side of the blimp, then covered the 10-foot tall "GOOD" letters and the Wingfoot symbol with a protective masking material. The "LIGHT" letter decals, weighing 5 pounds each, were placed into position and a few areas not covered by the temporary letters had to be painted over. All of this work is needed for about 15 days of service as the "Lightyear" blimp, since the airship is scheduled to return to its previous identity on June 1. Goodyear will also be supporting its involvement in CARS with a national product promotion at 750 Goodyear-owned and at participating independently owned and operated locations across the country. Consumers can receive a free copy of the CARS soundtrack on CD and a Goodyear cash card -- valued for $25 to $100 -- by outfitting their cars with a qualifying set of tires. The special-edition CARS soundtrack is presented by Goodyear, and features music by Sheryl Crow, John Mayer, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts and James Taylor. For complete details on sale offers, visit http://www.goodyeartires.com. After taking moviegoers magically into the realm of toys, bugs, monsters, fish, and superheroes, the masterful storytellers and technical wizards at Pixar Animation Studios (THE INCREDIBLES, FINDING NEMO, MONSTERS INC.), and Academy Award(R)-winning director John Lasseter (TOY STORY, TOY STORY 2, A BUG'S LIFE), hit the road with a fast-paced comedy adventure set inside the world of cars. Lightning McQueen (voiced by OWEN WILSON), a hotshot rookie race car driven to succeed, discovers that life is about the journey, not the finish line, when he finds himself unexpectedly detoured in the sleepy Route 66 town of Radiator Springs. On route across the country to the big Piston Cup Championship in California to compete against two seasoned pros, McQueen gets to know the town's offbeat characters -- including Doc Hudson (a 1951 Hudson Hornet with a mysterious past, voiced by PAUL NEWMAN), Sally Carrera (a snazzy 2002 Porsche voiced by BONNIE HUNT), and Mater (a rusty but trusty tow truck voiced by LARRY THE CABLE GUY) -- who help him realize that there are more important things than trophies, fame and sponsorship. CARS opens in theaters on June 9, 2006. 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 http://www.goodyeartires.com.
SOURCE The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company