Goodyear takes Times for a ride

The New York Times, Cheering column, June 17, 2007

The New York Times, Cheering column, June 17, 2007

Who is your client, and what are its media goals?

Brian Murphy: Goodyear is a leading maker of tires in the US. The company wanted us to leverage its signature Goodyear Blimp during its recent trip to New York. We focused on getting placements in one major magazine, one national daily, and one national broadcast outlet to tie into a current Goodyear ad campaign centered on the blimp.

What made The New York Times' "Cheering" column such a good hit? How did you pitch the editor/reporters there?

Murphy: Everyone at Goodyear and our agency are huge fans of reporter Vincent Mallozzi and the "Cheering" column because it looks at the other side of sports. This was key, because with the exception of NASCAR races, where Goodyear is the official tire, the most visible part of Goodyear at most major sporting events is the blimp. We pitched Vinny directly by phone and he was immediately interested.

Was the opportunity to ride in the Goodyear Blimp a compelling enough hook to get Mallozzi to commit to the story?
Murphy: It wasn't really the ride alone. We had to paint the whole picture for him - why the blimp is a sports icon and how the Goodyear pilots have had such a unique view of many of the biggest sporting moments in recent memory.

Did you media-train blimp pilot Jim Maloney before the ride-along?

Murphy: Jim's been piloting the Goodyear Blimp for 25 years and is very media savvy, so we just briefed him on some of the questions he might get. We did provide Vinny with background information, including directing him to the Goodyear Blimp Web site where he could find more details and specifications.

What was the impact of the hit?

Murphy: The story triggered a lot of buzz at Goodyear and generated several other high-level media opportunities. The piece, along with an upcoming story in Maxim and an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, ended up being a great brand play for Goodyear.

Name: Brian Murphy, account supervisor, Coyne Public Relations

Placement: The New York Times, Cheering column, June 17, 2007

Pitch timeline: Four weeks

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