By on January 22, 2010

GM withdrew its sponsorship of the US Olympic team after the 2008 games, because, as a spokesperson explained at the time, “we have other avenues to be able to reach this same audience without bearing the expense of being an official sponsor of the U.S. Olympic team.” However, GM is a main sponsor and official vehicle supplier of the 2010 games in addition to being the main sponsor of the Canadian national team. According to TNS Media, GM was the leading advertiser in the 2006 Winter Games, spending $111.6m and leading the auto sector to a resounding lead in ad spending (total $156.7m). General Motors has reportedly cut back its ad spend on Vancouver, but details aren’t being disclosed. And at least one GM investment in Vancouver-related publicity won’t be paying off: the General Motors Place is being temporarily renamed the Canada Hockey Place in order to comply with IOC standards. We’d normally make some crack here about your tax dollars at work, but Olympic sponsorships are lined up years in advance. Too bad that back in 2007, when GM was losing $2b annually, it denied that its financial status had anything to do with its removal of US Olympic team sponsorship. Had the firm been more realistic about its financial health… well, who knows where we’d be right now.

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9 Comments on “From The “Plus Ça Change” File: GM And The Vancouver Olympics...”


  • avatar
    86er

    My, how things have changed in Calgary since ’88.

    No way could you drive around empty city streets like that today!

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    I thought it was obvious … when an company like GM, which throws heaps of money in every direction, and which, typically, follows up by throwing more money in each direction, suddenly suspends advertising despite market share loss, one knows that the cash train is under strain and nearing the end of the line …

    Around the same time as they dropped the USOC deal, GM suspended their Buick deal with Tiger (some would claim this was prescient, but that is refuted by the smashed-up GM-owned Escalade)… they did say at the time “we are dropping the deal because it promotes Tiger better than it promotes Buicks…”)

    My guess at the time was that the savings from the ad-buy were going directly to on-the-hood incentives…

  • avatar
    mikey

    Past practice has seen GM sell the slightly used Olympic vehicles to employees,under the company vehicle purchase program.

    I don’t think we have enough employees left. So if white is your colour look for a bargain.

  • avatar
    Becomethemedia

    I agree the streets are eerily quiet, it’s a far different city today.
    But gee those outfits haven’t aged one bit, and the tunes kinda catchy as well.
    And such quality vehicles like the Chev Celebrity, the Pontiac 6000 wagon and of course the rugged, well built Blazer
    Actually the only thing that’s interesting about this advert is the Japanese lady skiing near fake Mount Fuji.

  • avatar
    Canucknucklehead

    There are heaps of GM Olympic vehicles on the road here in Vancouver and not the cheap stuff; say a CTS wagon yesterday and there are loads of Silverado Hybrids. Should have wonderful resale after the games.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    By far the most common Olympic$$ vehicles running around the Vancouver area are Buick Enclaves. There seem to be hundreds of them. I trust that the average passenger count in each justifies using such large vehicles.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    Those Special ’88 Olympic editions must be worth a mint as collectables. I mean, who wouldn’t want a refrigerator white Celebrity? :)

  • avatar
    mikey

    The Olympic$$ I hear ya…..Enclaves eh? made in the USA. Maybe they could send us some U.S. made snow, we could really use some of that stuff.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    C’mon whats the big deal? This is the bankrupt Olympics after all! GM as the main sponsor, the owner of the Whistler/Blackcombe resort has also gone bust meaning that the resort will be auctioned off half way into the games, not to mention how many cuts the city of Vancouver is having to make to public services to pay for it all. I don’t think the people of Vancouver will ever forgive those who organised it if Canada don’t win gold in Ice Hockey!

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