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SBJ/December 3 - 9, 2001/This Weeks Issue
Caddy takes 3-year ride with NFL
Published December 3, 2001
General Motors' Cadillac brand has signed a three-year NFL sponsorship deal worth more than $10 million that makes it the official car and passenger truck of the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl, say sources familiar with the deal.
The agreement includes $2 million a year in rights fees, and the NFL also will get to use hundreds of cars at the two events. The luxury car maker will receive a Caddy-sized allotment of Super Bowl and Pro Bowl tickets.
Cadillac will use its new rights quickly, with a TV spot or spots from D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles planned for the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl.
Like its predecessor Ford, which dropped its sponsorship this year after more than five seasons, Cadillac gets entitlement to the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl MVP award. It also will sponsor MVP voting on superbowl.com.
Cadillac will have cars on display outside the Louisiana Superdome, site of Super Bowl XXXVI, and at the NFL Experience fan fest. It will have a display in the NFL Media Center in New Orleans.
While Super Bowl and Pro Bowl rights and logos are included as part of the deal, rights to use the NFL shield are not.
Still, "the right to be associated with the country's top sporting event and TV property is something that's held in high regard by marketers regardless of the economic conditions," said Jim Schwebel, senior vice president for corporate sponsorships for NFL Properties. "That's what this deal shows."
Cadillac is already a fixture at the Super Bowl, where it entertains top dealers. Around 300 will be in New Orleans. Cadillac is expected to use the NFL's jewel event to help launch a few new vehicles, such as its CTS entry-level luxury sedan and its Escalade EXT SUV.
The new NFL relationship is part of a larger repositioning within Cadillac's $4 billion Art and Science program. The brand overhaul has included updated cars, showrooms and ads touting Caddy's technological superiority, as opposed to the brand's historical dependence on luxury and status value to set it apart from the competition.