Yes, nothing says "unnecessary" like giving a professional athlete a free car, but it's all about brand promotion, and El General loves to throw sets of keys to MVP winners. During the Super Bowl, they give away a Caddy, and last night at the conclusion of the MLB All-Star Game, Chevy GM Ed Peper was on hand to award an '08 Tahoe Hybrid to Mariners CF and game MVP Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro, in the walk year of a 4-year, $44 Million contract, could buy a Tahoe Hybrid with his pocket money, but that's beside the point, we suppose. His in-game heroics (3 for 3 with an inside-the-park HR) helped lead the AL over the NL for the 9,000th year in a row. Ichiro will apparently be able to add countless more Tahoe Hybrids to his stable as early as Friday, as the Seattle Times reports the M's are set to give him a 5-year, $100M extension. Too bad. He would have looked real nice guarding the short porch in right in the Bronx.
The gallery below has more Chevy-oriented All-Star Game pics in it, including players (current and retired) riding into the ballpark in the beds of Silverados. The GM press photo of Derek Jeter in the Chevy truck could possibly be construed as a subtle dig at Ford, since the Yankee captain is a spokesman for the Tri-State Ford dealers here in my neck of the woods.
[Sources: GM, Seattle Times, MLB.com]