Chevy Leaps Into Soccer: It’s More Football Than Football, Right?

June 8, 2012
Former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson (left) and current star Ryan Giggs

Former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson (left) and current star Ryan Giggs

Just as the dust settles in the weeks following General Motors announcing its withdrawal from Facebook advertising and Super Bowl commercials, Chevrolet is back in the game. Only this time, it’s more football than football.

Manchester United and Chevy are now in a five-year deal, making the GM division official automotive partner of the football club (or soccer team, as we call it in America).

What might seem a counterintuitive move is likely just one part of a greater effort to reach the broadest customer base with the most effective use of advertising dollars. Bang for the buck, in other words; hardly a new marketing concept.

The partnership maintains Chevy’s global brand presence with the estimated 659 million Man U followers around the world, “putting these fans at the center of everything we do,” according to Joel Ewanick, GM’s chief marketing officer. So even if that doesn’t resonate with Joe Six-Pack Silverado buyers in the Midwest, for example, GM isn’t about to alienate them. National and region-specific ads and sponsorship will continue.

Just don’t expect this will open the door for a return to ads on Facebook and/or the Super Bowl. Ewanick is outspokenly skeptical of social media’s value, as well as the worth of dropping $4 million or more to air a 30-second spot during the NFL’s 2013 championship.

Give us your thoughts. Is this the latest of money well-saved and well-spent, or do you disagree with GM’s rationale?

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