Buick Leaves the Links, and Gets on the Court

Automobile Staff
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Part of the reduction of assets in the lead-up to General Motor’s bankruptcy was Buick's divesting of its long-standing golf sponsorship. It was well timed, too, as it let its Tiger Woods sponsorship go at just the right time. Now Buick is ready to use sports marketing, again, to bolster its reputation and consideration among educated, affluent American consumers.

Forget golf. That’s old Buick, as in the Century, the Lucerne, the Rendezvous, and the old LaCrosse, and owners using the game as an excuse to wear funny pants. Buick has signed up with the National Collegiate Athletic Association as a lead sponsor. We’re not just talking NCAA men’s basketball and all the bracket-action going on as we speak, though that helps. Buick will be a sponsor for NCAA ice hockey, women’s soccer, lacrosse and college football, which could become the only game in town this fall if the National Football League and the players fail to make up.

The campaign, which begins with March Madness, will include a “Buick Human Highlight Reel” with commercials highlighting collegiate do-gooders, and a “new Buick anthem” launching in early April. The series includes 60-second and 30-second commercials about Manny Ohonme, a former University of North Dakota -- Lake Region basketball star from Nigeria, who has started Samaritan’s Feet, with the goal of putting shoes on 10 million underprivileged children around the world.

It’s a connection that fits better with the brand’s post-Buick Open self image, as a kinder, gentler luxury brand.

Luxury? Yep. Buick marketing execs Tuesday described the brand as one of two GM luxury brands. Buick is “approachable luxury” while Cadillac is “red-blooded luxury.” Translation? One sells cars that sell for more than $30,000. The other is about to launch a compact that will start under $25,000. See the first video from the partnership below.

Source: General Motors

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