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Sports Then and Now

College Football’s Aerial Icon: The Goodyear Blimp

Posted on October 26, 2015 by Mike Raffone

Good Year BlimpToday’s Sports Then and Now blog recognizes one of college football’s most recognized icons – The Goodyear Blimp.

That’s because this season marks the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s 60th year of aerial advertising during college football games.

The company’s annual broadcast coverage will culminate with a lucky college football fan hitching a ride on the famous blimp.

However, few football fans know the history behind the beloved blimps.

Furnishing amazing aerial views of some of the most recognized sporting events in the world, the Goodyear Blimp hovers way above the ground at approximately 1,000 feet.

At 192 feet long, 55 feet wide and 59.5 feet tall, this iconic air ship weighs in at 12,840 lbs. Filled with 202,700 cubic feet of helium, this high flyer effortlessly floats above the action below and is actually one of three.

The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company owns and operates a mini fleet of three blimps that are housed across the country.

Proudly calling Pompano Beach, FL home is the Goodyear Spirit of Innovation, while three thousand miles away, the Spirit of America touches down in Carson City, CA. In between the two, the Spirit of Goodyear resides in Akron, OH.

With an ability to cruise at 35 mph in ideal wind conditions and stay aloft for up to 24 hours, these blimps can be seen at most of America’s prestigious sporting events.

The Goodyear Blimp got its sports start when it covered the 1955 Rose Bowl. Since that memorable moment, epic events in sports have become synonymous with blimp coverage.

Some of the marquee events where the Goodyear Blimps have been showcasing the tire and rubber company brand for the past 70 years include: the Super Bowl, Indy 500, Kentucky Derby, World Series, America’s Cup, NASCAR and the U.S. Open in golf.

It’s estimated that more than 60 million Americans see the messaging advertised by Goodyear’s electronic signs. Half of the ads are Goodyear product related, while the other 50% promote public service causes like the United Way.

The Goodyear air ships generally preside over U.S. airspace; however, they’ve been known to venture as far away as Canada and Mexico.

Goodyear boasts a perfect safety record in managing its fleet, making their blimps the safest form of air travel in the world.

Though several other competitive blimps have been birthed over the years, Goodyear Blimps remain the most iconic.

That’s why college football fans would love to win that contest and hitch a ride 1,000 feet above the ground on the iconic air ship.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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