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SBD/June 4, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship
"Chevrolet China Cup" Exhibition Games Highlight GM's Deal With Manchester United
Published June 4, 2012
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THE WORLD IS FLAT: FORBES’ Hannah Elliott wrote there has been talk about GM "forgetting its roots" after the company announced its deal with ManU and "dared thumb its nose at the high holy place of American car commercials, the Super Bowl." ManU is "about as far away from Detroit as Hollywood is from Cheboygan." The deal will involve “branding seats in the dugout at Old Trafford, player appearances at Chevy events, and the use of Chevrolet vehicles for official team duties.” Elliott wrote it is "a risky move" as Europe is "teetering on the edge of a serious financial meltdown," and soccer is nonexistent in the U.S. compared to the fanaticism it inspires in England. Elliott: “This deal isn’t about Europe. It’s about the world." GM Manager for Cross Brand Communications & Media Relations Tom Henderson said, “It is the right time to establish its presence in global football, a sport that is followed passionately by about 3.5 billion fans around the world. Like Chevrolet, which is sold in 140 countries, Manchester United have a global presence that is hard to match.” Elliott wrote credit for the deal should go to Ewanick, as he is "focused on making Chevrolet a global brand -- something that must be done if GM’s long-term strategy of developing cars on one platform that can be sold worldwide" (FORBES.com, 6/2). The FISCAL TIMES' Josh Herr wrote that "the affiliation with ManU brings plenty of prestige." While GM accounts for only 0.9% of new vehicle registrations in the U.K., it is “already the top-selling foreign automaker in China” (FISCAL TIMES, 6/1).
SHOCK AND AWE: Bloomberg TV’s Gigi Stone said GM CEO Dan Akerson “really wants to make Chevy and Cadillac into global brands, less dependent on the U.S. market." Stone: "But this is also part of GM’s new strategy to buy media more efficiently, with the goal of saving about $2 billion over five years.” Stone said GM’s announcement "really sent shivers up the spines of everyone on Madison Avenue and executives at TV networks." Stone: "They’re really worried its rivals will follow its lead and shift away its dollars from U.S. programming and automotive, of course, is the biggest category for ad spending in the U.S. so that would be a really big deal” (“Bloomberg Bottom Line,” Bloomberg TV, 6/1).