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US: GM tees up return to golf sponsorship

By just-auto.com editorial team | 1 December 2010

General Motors is to restart its sponsorship of professional golf after severing its ties with the sport during its 2009 financial crisis.

Luxury brand Cadillac will sponsor the World Golf Championship-Cadillac Championship at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa near Miami in March 2011, the first in what is expected to be several professional golf tournaments that the brand will sponsor.

Marketing chief Don Butler and PGA tour commissioner Tim Finchem told a news conference that Cadillac and the golf event are tied contractually until at least 2016, and that they expect the relationship to last beyond that.

Cadillac will be the flag bearer for GM when it comes to golf, taking over from Buick which will focus more on culinary and travel events.

Butler said: "The reason we (sponsor golf) ultimately is to sell cars. We reach the right audience. We reach it in the right way.”

Finchem said that the PGA is now in "preliminary" talks with Cadillac about returning to Michigan, at an event near or in Detroit. He said it was too early to say if such an event could happen as soon as the 2012 tour.

GM ended its sponsorship of two major Professional Golf Association tournaments, the Buick Invitational in California and the Buick Open in Michigan, in August 2009.

GM and Buick also dropped Tiger Woods as a pitchman in a cost-cutting move in November 2008.