GM will be out of the Olympics after Beijing. The General said Monday that it can no longer justify spending $1 billion on its expensive sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic team when there are other options that offer a better return. The global giant is said to be looking into non-traditional advertising outlets in an effort to keep ad dollars spent as efficiently as possible, so they have made the decision to let the Olympic contract lapse when it expires in 2008. They will continue their involvement with the U.S. Snowboarding Team, and GM of Canada is still a big sponsor for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, but their overall sponsorship will cease. GM wanted to make it clear that this isn't a sign of financial weakness, so much as a sign that business as usual is no longer going to be blindly accepted. They are getting more efficient in every aspect of business and this is just another example of that. While we applaud that trend, we have to wonder if being the official vehicle of the U.S. Olympic team didn't have a certain cachet that went above and beyond the dollar value, if leveraged correctly.