SBD/Issue 138/MLB Season Preview

Automaker Logos Featured On Comerica Park Fountain For Free

GM, Ford, Chrysler Logos Will Be Displayed
On Equal Plane Above The Fountain
Tigers Owner Mike Ilitch, in response to the troubling times for Detroit's auto manufacturers, decided to feature the GM, Ford and Chrysler logos this season on Comerica Park's centerfield fountain for free, according to Mitch Albom of the DETROIT FREE PRESS. For the last few years, GM has sponsored the fountain and "paid a substantial fee to do so." But GM this year called the Tigers and said that "they could no longer afford" the sponsorship. There were "other bidders," and a "deal of three years worth between $1.5[M] and $2[M] was on the table." But Ilitch said "no thanks." Ilitch said of the team's decision to not sign a sponsor for the fountain this year, "It's just a small opportunity to respond to what's happening. ... I thought for a few weeks before deciding. I didn't want to offend anybody. I didn't want to put off the foreign carmakers. And I didn't want people to think we couldn't sell the fountain. As a businessman, you do worry about those things." Throughout the '09 season, the Chrysler, GM and Ford logos "will be on an equal plane above the fountain," and "beneath those logos will be a few new words: 'The Detroit Tigers support our automakers'" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 4/5).

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