SBD/Issue 31/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

GM Nearing Deal To Sponsor WGC Event At Doral, PGA Tournaments

WGC Event At Doral Had Been Title
Sponsored By CA For Past Five Years

General Motors and the PGA Tour are “in the final stages of negotiations to put the Cadillac brand on the World Golf Championship event at venerable Doral Resort and possibly other tournaments,” according to sources cited by Michael Smith of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. GM, which declared bankruptcy in June ‘09, was “absent from the golf sponsorship scene this year as it restructured and repaid $6.7 billion in TARP funds to the U.S. Treasury.” But an agreement with the PGA Tour that “could span multiple tournaments would send a strong signal that the automaker is ready to spend again.” GM would not comment specifically on a return to golf, but did say that it “will spend money as needed to market its products.” Smith writes, “For one of GM’s first big purchases after bankruptcy to come in golf wouldn’t be a surprise.” It remains to be seen “just how deeply GM will embed the Cadillac brand in the PGA Tour.” WGC title sponsorships typically go for $10-12M a year, and GM “could spend more if it sponsors other tournaments.” GM’s financial troubles “led it to end the PGA Tour official deal last year, as well as two title sponsorships on the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines and the Buick Open in Grand Blanc, Mich.” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/25 issue).

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