Within the first five hours of its "Name the Blimp" contest, The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company received almost 4,000 unique suggestions for the name of its newest airship.
The nationwide contest began April 11 at 12:01 p.m. EDT. The American public can nominate a name for the newest Goodyear blimp by logging on to http://www.nametheblimp.com. The contest ends on April 30, 2006. Complete contest rules can also be found at the website. Those without computer access who wish to enter are encouraged to visit their local public library.
In the first five hours of the website’s operation today, a total of 3,877 unique nominations were received. The most submissions came from the state of Ohio, site of Goodyear’s world headquarters and home base to the blimp "Spirit of Goodyear." By 5 p.m. EDT, nominations had been received from 46 states. Joining Ohio among the states submitting the largest quantities of names were California, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Virginia.
"We anticipated a very strong response, but this is beyond all expectations," said Chuck Sinclair, Goodyear’s senior vice president of global communications. "I thought we’d probably get between 1,500 and 2,000 different names, so this is already far beyond what we had hoped for. It shows the special place the Goodyear blimp has in the hearts and minds of many Americans … especially when the winner gets the blimp."
The person submitting the winning name will win the grand prize; he or she will be able to use the Goodyear blimp for a day.
A list of 10 "finalist" names will be posted on the website on May 7, at which time the public will be able to vote for their favorite. The winning name will be announced at a gala christening ceremony at the Goodyear Airship Operations facility in nearby Suffield, OH, in mid-June.