SBD/January 12, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

GM Lands Exclusive Domestic Auto Rights On NBCU During '12 Games

General Motors and NBC Universal yesterday announced that they have created a new media partnership tied to NBC’s U.S. coverage of the ’12 London Games. The deal provides GM with exclusive domestic automotive advertising rights during the Olympics. Chevrolet and Cadillac will have a major advertising presence during NBC’s coverage of the Games, which will be held July 27-Aug. 12, on network and cable outlets. In addition, the two GM brands will be featured in select NBC Olympic-related programming leading up to the Games and online at NBCOlympics.com (GM). Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but GM Global CMO Joel Ewanick said the investment would be "significant." Ewanick “declined to say what vehicles the automaker would feature in the ads," but he said that GM chose the Olympics “because it matched up well with the launch of several vehicles in a time that is normally difficult to catch consumers’ attention.” Ewanick noted that advertising would be “heavy during the two weeks of the Games themselves with commercials tailored to the events during which they air, but will begin about 100 days before with elements on TV and the Internet.” GM will be “one of two automakers, along with BMW, running ads during the 2012 Summer Games;” BMW is a sponsor of the USOC (Ben Klayman, REUTERS, 1/11).

ANOTHER SIGN OF RECOVERY: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Suzanne Vranica reported GM is likely to "commit more money to the Olympic broadcast than it did last year,” when it spent $41.5M on U.S. ads during the Vancouver Games. The partnership is the "latest sign of the increased emphasis that the auto maker is putting on advertising," highlighted by its return to the Super Bowl this year. Ewanick has been "aggressive at trying to reinsert GM's brands, especially Chevy, into big TV events, after the company cut back on its marketing during its crisis" (WSJ.com, 1/11).

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