Tough Times: GM ends endorsement deal with Tiger Woods
Celebrity endorsements are a powerful thing. For instance, when you see someone wearing a set of fly Nike high tops, Michael Jordan invariably comes to mind. And when you see a Buick Rendezvous roll by, no doubt an image of Tiger Woods is conjured. Alright, so maybe the greatest golfer ever got the short end of that 9 iron, but it doesn't matter much anymore as General Motors has announced that its ending Buick's nine-year endorsement deal with Tiger Woods effective December 31, 2008. GM says the decision to separate was amicable and mutual (they always say that). For his part, Tiger has a second cub on the way and GM, well... GM would rather keep its assembly plants open a few extra days than pay an athlete to stand next to a Buick Lacrosse. Smart choice, we'd say. And now, when Congress asks Rick Wagoner for examples of how GM is sacrificing during these tough economic times, he can tell them, "We fired Tiger Woods!". You check out GM's official Dear John letter to Tiger after the jump.
[Source: GM, Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty]
GM And Tiger Woods Announce End To Endorsement Deal
DETROIT, MICHIGAN – General Motors and Tiger Woods announced today that they will conclude their endorsement deal effective December 31, 2008.
Both GM and Woods agreed to a mutual and amicable separation that included a desire for more personal time for the 14-time major winner who is expecting his second child in late winter as well as the search for budget efficiencies during a difficult economy for General Motors. For the past nine years, Woods has endorsed GM products around the world and has been heavily associated with the Buick brand in the US, Canada and China markets.
Mark LaNeve, General Motors North American Vice President of Sales, Service and Marketing said, "Tiger has been a great friend to GM and a fantastic asset through the years helping to bring consumer awareness to many new GM products. In light of the news coming out of Washington," LaNeve added, "This decision is the result of discussions that started earlier in the year and the timing of this agreement with these other activities is purely coincidental."
In a statement, Woods commented, "I am very proud of the long standing partnership I've had with GM and have enjoyed being a part of the company's dramatic product evolution. We've had a lot of fun together and I participated in some unique and rewarding activities. We've enjoyed a tremendous partnership over the years and we will maintain strong ties with the many people at GM we call friends."