• Oct 23, 2008
Tiger Woods has been a Buick spokesman since 1999, but both General Motors and the greatest golfer of all time are in a holding pattern regarding a new endorsement contract. Tiger's current deal, which expires in 2009, was reportedly for $40 million over five years. Though getting Tiger was a coup for Buick, many wonder why GM would give the world's most popular athlete to its low volume Buick brand instead of Cadillac or even use him across multiple marques.

Both GM and Tiger are taking a wait-and-see approach towards negotiations on a new contract, with both sides having met once and agreed only on when they should meet a second time. The automotive landscape is tenuous at best, and GM is taking a major hit on the sales floor and on Wall St., which could make retaining Mr. Woods more difficult. We're pretty sure Tiger will end up hocking cars for one automaker or another, so the General better find some funds fast if it doesn't want to lose the 14-time majors champion to another brand.

[Source: The Detroit News]


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  • 19 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Now maybe he can get a BMW, Merc, or Audi endorsement.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This deal NEVER made sense. Tiger was NEVER used effectively for starters, he was barely in the ads and his personality (sorry Tiger) sucks. There is NOTHING likable about Tiger. If that's not bad enough (politically incorrect statement coming!) nobody can relate to him! The blacks don't, he is hardly a cool rapper. Whites don't, what exactly is he they think? He's a pro golfer who makes millions and can speak well. Hardly someone Joe White Guy (the average buick buyer) can relate too, other than the fact they both golf, what is there to like about Tiger?

      I've NEVER considered a buick because of Tiger, his ads were always weird and uncomfortable and like the article states, WHY ISN'T HE AT CADILLAC! I ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT, EVERY TIME AN AD CAME ON!!!

      GM you suck!

      p.s. - Obama is a fraud. Anyone voting for him is voting for collective over individual rights and the bankrupting of this country. A democracy CAN'T survive when its people continue to rely on the government. We don't need a socialist, we need a President.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Please troll elsewhere. Comments like yours belong on AutoSpies these days.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Save us your drivel... this isn't The View.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This Tiger Wood's endorsement is cute but as far as sales go, well, I don't think so. I like Tiger and he is quite good and has a very good sense of humor. It helped put the Buick name on the map.

      Now, as far as customers buying them, this is another story. This is an old marketing gimmick that was very in vogue in the marketing 101 book, but in fact, it really does not do much for any corporations.

      For ex

      -Nobody believed that Celine Dion was driving a Chrysler minivan

      - Some dealers are giving demos to well known athletes, and everybody knows that it does not mean much in reality.


      40 millions would be much better spent directly on the vehicles and on their quality.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Also, I never understood why GM didn't use him in Cadillac ads" shows a misunderstanding of the ad business. Generally brands have their own relationships with different agencies. Currently Modernista is Cadillac's agency and Leo Burnett is Buick's, though the Tiger relationship is from a prior agency. So whoever thought of using Tiger isn't going to stop and think "this is a better fit for Cadillac."

      Burnett also handles Pontiac and GMC now but even then it is most likely different teams who are working on the different brands. Those people are talking to different marketing people within GM so there isn't opportunities for these ideas to cross over.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm curious as to how Buick's sales have been since Tiger's endorsement. Have they increased or have they been stagnant? I would think their new product lineup probably helped more than his endorsement.

      Also, I never understood why GM didn't use him in Cadillac ads. Does he make sense for Pontiac or Chevy? No. I think Mary J. Blige works well for Chevy. And those Cadillac ads are pretty genius, the one with Kate Walsh, in particular.

      "When you turn your car on, does it return the favor?"
        • 6 Years Ago
        Exactly, the Kate Walsh ads make you want to try a Caddy even if you swore off American cars for life.

        If GM has the financial capacity to afford Tiger Woods, he should be put to work for Cadillac too.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually, MOST of the Cadillac adverts make me want to fire bomb every Cadillac dealer (& car) in the USA

        ...and I LOVE their new CTS line up... I would consider robbing a few banks just to get the new CTS-V (hey I can't lease it anymore...)

        Cadillac ads are total crap & this current ad team would make the coolest golfer alive look like a tool.

        IMO, have Tiger add the Cadillac script logo to his Nike hat & get Tiger to do the next season of HBO's Entourage... (Phil Mickelson's sponsors got a nice plug 2 weeks ago)... :) :) :)
        • 6 Years Ago
        I could see Tiger driving a Cadillac.

        You should work for GM's advertising.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I like the design direction Buick is now going in- with the Invicta/ 2010 LaCrosse and Enclave, but even though they are great looking cars, they need some more celebrities like....idk- what famous people Drive Buicks? Jay Leno? Betty White?
      • 6 Years Ago
      You mean hawking cars, not hocking them. I don't think Tiger is in a financial situation where he needs to hock his cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Tiger is indeed popular in China and other Asian countries - and that's because he's really HALF-Asian (quarter Thai and quarter Chinese) and only a quarter black. Plus he even live like an Asian - he studies hard (Stanford grad), plays golf (Asians are golf-mad), and his best friends are all Asian. He even said once he feel more like an Asian. It's only in the black-and-white racist views of the US he's somehow just "black". So yes, it would be very smart for GM to use him in ads for Asian markets. Heck, if they use him in Japan even the Japanese would be tempted to by Buicks.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually, I never think of him as being "black" as you say. I think of him as an asian guy who plays golf very well and comes across as an articulate well spoken guy.
        Typical of a Stanford guy............
      • 6 Years Ago
      I like Buick, I don't like Tiger. His presence in Buick ads annoy me. Kate Walsh does nothing for me in the Cadillac ads, she is big time meh. Mary J. Blige for Chevy? Now THAT'S more like it! I love Chevy (I have owned more than 10, and currently own 2, a Camaro and a Silverado) but Mary could make me buy one even if I was the biggest Chevy hater around! Mary could make me buy an Aveo! Mary J. Blige is VERY sexy!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Isn't Buick one of the largest selling, and most desired brands in China?? Maybe Tiger sells better in Chinese !!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe it has something to do with him buying every Porsche he could get his hands on, and then being photographed driving to tournaments in them. Plus who the heck believes that Tiger drives a Buick like my Grandma?
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Currently Modernista is Cadillac's agency and Leo Burnett is Buick's, though the Tiger relationship is from a prior agency."

      My best friend's wife worked at a fairly high level for that prior agency (McCann-Erickson, I think) and was involved in the production of ads featuring Tiger Woods. From what she's told me, her agency, Buick, and Woods got along fabulously and everyone was happy with the arrangement at the time. Buick is heavily involved in other golf related marketing so the deal made a lot of sense at the time.

      My guess is that while Woods may have been satisfied, he and his management team may have concerns about negative stigmas attached to GM as it tries to weather the triple whammy of high oil costs, the housing bubble bursting and now a general financial meltdown. Tiger may not want to sign a long term contract with a company facing bankruptcy.
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