GM switches from Super Bowl to Manchester United

GM is going with a more global strategy for its marketing and advertising, hoping to save money but also improve reach and effectiveness.

After ditching costly Super Bowl ads, General Motors is betting a five-year sponsorship of the Manchester United soccer club will bolster its Chevrolet line in the first test of the brand’s new global marketing strategy.

Manchester United, the 19-time English champion football team, has a worldwide reach that fits with the automaker’s desire to make Chevrolet a global icon, Paul Edwards, GM executive director of global marketing strategy, said in an interview prior to the announcement.

“It’s clear that global football presented us with a significant opportunity to spread Chevrolet around the world,” he said. “We recognized that it’s not only the world’s biggest sport but also the world’s most engaged fans.”

The agreement follows GM’s decision this month to halt paid advertising on Facebook and forgo next year’s Super Bowl championship game of the National Football League in the U.S. The decision to sponsor Manchester United isn’t related to GM’s move to stop Super Bowl advertising, Mr. Edwards said. Still, the numbers are compelling.

When Manchester United played against Manchester City, “that audience around the world scaled to 600 million people,” Mr. Edwards said. “Compare that to the Super Bowl here in the States, which is roughly 110, 115 million, and you’re talking five times that audience watching one regular-season game. It’s significant.”

It’s an interesting approach, and it probably makes sense for such a global brand, especially for world vehicles like the Chevy Cruze. If it works for Chevy they’ll roll this out to Cadillac as well. Read the whole article for more insight into the strategy.


GM plans huge investment in U.S. auto plants

The U.S. auto business continues its spectacular rebound from its near-death experience. Sure, there’s a long way to go, but this is excellent news and shows a commitment to invest in America.

Growing demand for General Motors Co. cars and trucks is pushing the Detroit automaker to add thousands of jobs and spend $2 billion to upgrade plants across the country.

GM CEO Daniel Akerson confirmed Tuesday that the company will create or preserve more than 4,000 jobs in eight states by investing heavily in 17 facilities nationwide. So far, the company has only announced millions of dollars in upgrades at plants in Toledo and Bowling Green, Ky. It is expected to release specifics about other plants during the next few months.

While much of the planned spending hinges on winning state and local tax incentives, the company says it needs to boost production and resume hiring to meet rising consumer demand.

The U.S. economy and job market needs a boost like this. Hopefully this will continue.


White House takes credit for GM resurgence

General Motors had a very successful IPO last week, and the Obama administration is taking justified credit for bailing out GM instead of letting it die in a forced liquidation in bankruptcy.

It’s hard to argue here with success. The administration took a huge amount of grief for this decision, and it clearly hurt the President and the Democrats in the midterms, but this was the right decision. The auto industry is thriving, and we avoided a death spiral in the auto industry and the supplier base that would have occurred under a forced liquidation.


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