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GM HOPES TO ATTRACT WOMEN CONSUMERS THROUGH WNBA SPONSORSHIP
Published March 23, 1998
GM's $3.5M sponsorship of the WNBA is an attempt "to build relationships with women, who are estimated to make 80 percent of the consumer buying decisions in America today," according to Jon Pepper of the DETROIT NEWS. GM's involvement comes "at two levels," at the "higher end," GM is buying commercial time on the WNBA's TV broadcasts, and at the "lower end," it is using grassroots marketing, having WNBA players represent it at schools, shopping centers and charitable events. GM VP/North American Advertising & Marketing Philip Guarascio: "There's a purity about the game, an innocence that gives it more of an Olympic feel than an NFL feel." Mark Hines, GM's Assistant Brand Manager for Buick Regal: "We're not looking at it as political correctness. It's a great opportunity to connect with people." Meanwhile, the WNBA expansion Detroit Shock has sold 17,000 tickets for its June 13 opener, and Palace Sports & Entertainment President Tom Wilson said he expects a league-record 22,000 for the game (DETROIT NEWS, 3/22).