Posted by: David Welch on November 25, 2008
At least there’s China. That’s about the only bragging point Buick has after breaking off its endorsement deal with Tiger Woods that says it’s not the stodgy moribund brand people think it is. For the past nine years, Tiger has cast a cool glow over GM’s Buick division as its pitch man. He won 14 majors in that time and has a clean-cut image and multi-ethnic background that crosses all kinds of boundaries. What’s more is that Woods made dozens of appearances a year for GM, more than he did for any of his other sponsors.
It was a great move for GM. Tiger isn’t just a sports star. He’s the sports star. Tiger is bigger than A-Rod, LeBron James or just about any athlete in any sports you can name. Buick locked him up before he was a megastar and resigned him four years ago reportedly on a five-year, $40 million deal. But budget cuts forced GM to whip out the ax. Buick will still sponsor the Buick Open in Grand Blanc, Michigan and the Buick Invitation at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, Calif. But as far as proving the brand is cool, being a hit in China might be the best claim the brand has.