Get this: General Motors, the world’s largest automaker, is punting Super Bowl advertising in favor of sponsoring Manchester United, that bastion of the rest of the world’s football.
GM’s marketing chief Joel Ewanick said in a statement that the company knows the Super Bowl has a huge audience, but “with the significant increase in price, we simply can’t justify the expense.” A 30-second spot in next year’s Super Bowl will cost almost $4 million. GM also dropped ads on Facebook last month due to low consumer impact.
GM decided that sponsoring Manchester United, one of the world’s best-known sports clubs, would help improve Chevrolet and Cadillac as global brands. It also should help GM market vehicles tailored for foreign markets, like smaller Chevrolets designed and engineered in South Korea and sold in Asia and Europe.
As part of the deal, GM will have Chevy sponsor two Manchester United matches in China this summer. GM is the market share leader in China, the world’s biggest car market.
GM is still a big fan of American football: it will remain one of the largest TV advertisers for NFL games besides the Super Bowl.