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Study: GM’s Corvette gift to Armando Galarraga worth $9 million in media exposure
Crain's Detroit Business

The decision by General Motors Co. to give a $53,000 Corvette convertible to Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga the day after his perfect game was botched by an umpire was worth $8.9 million in media exposure value for the automaker, a new study shows.

Ann Arbor-based Joyce Julius & Associates Inc., which specializes in measuring sponsorship scope across all forms of media, said the give-away was referenced in 714 television programs between Thursday and Sunday, which was worth nearly $1 million in exposure.

The give-away also appeared in 151,000 publications and web entries in that time, worth another $7.9 million, Joyce Julius said.

General Motors, which returned as the Comerica Park fountain sponsor after a one-year hiatus because of bankruptcy-fueled marketing cutbacks, did not commission the report.

“We were not contracted to do the study. We often look at national level happenings in sponsorship and provide that information to all of our clients and the media,” said Eric Wright, Joyce Julius’ vice president of research and product development, in an e-mail to Crain’s.

The report comes after skepticism of the decision to give the pitcher the car emerged.

“Until G.M. has repaid the taxpayers in full for the money they have borrowed, every action that G.M. takes should advance them in that direction,” Kurt Bardella, a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told the New York Times on June 4.
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