Tag Archives: GM

Rogers Seeks to Expand Influence in Western Canada with Canucks

This month Rogers Communications sought to expand its grasp on the western Canadian market by acquiring the rights to the hockey arena where the Vancouver Canucks play. Formerly known as General Motors Place, the newly-christened Rogers Arena is part of a ten-year sponsorship deal between the Canucks and Rogers as the communications company seeks to gain new ground on unfamiliar territory. In addition to the naming rights deal, Rogers has also partnered with the Canucks on telecommunications sponsorship and broadcast rights via Rogers Sportsnet. Part of the deal will also enable Rogers customers to access exclusive Canucks information through their wireless phones, although specifics have not yet been disclosed.

The sponsorship signing by Rogers is a smart move for the communications company to make for several reasons. First, the association with the Canucks will help to expand their influence in western Canada, as Rogers is not as well known compared to other communications competitors such as Telus, which is based out of British Columbia. Second, through their additional sponsorship of telecommunications and broadcast rights, as well as their desire to seek radio broadcast rights when those become available, Rogers has ensured their name will be affiliated with the Canucks brand in every possible way. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the availability of exclusive Canucks information through Rogers Wireless will ensure continued customer loyalty as well as the possibility of attracting new local customers. With this sponsorship deal, Rogers adds another Canadian sports landmark to an already impressive list, including the Rogers Centre where the Toronto Blue Jays play. Hopefully their actions will encourage other Canadian telecom companies to seek stadium sponsorships to compete with Rogers.

An important point for sponsors to be wary of, however, is that changing the name of a stadium may do more harm than good if the feelings of the fans are not taken into consideration. A study by Performance Research in the U.S. and U.K. revealed one in five fans did not agree that sponsors have the right to change the name of the stadium because of their sponsorship. While a move from GM Place to Rogers Arena may not have as large an impact as the change is from sponsor name to sponsor name, companies should be aware of the possibility of backlash should they try to change a more traditionally-named stadium.

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Economic Recovery could (should?) spur era of “Customer Compassion”

As Americans struggling through a down economy, we have had little to do other than budget our spending and look for the light at the end of the tunnel.  When we do pull ourselves out of this hole, how will we spend out money when these brighter days come?

gmOne sector that makes this question very interesting is the automobile industry.  As of early June, the American Government (i.e. American Taxpayers) owns roughly 70% of General Motors, which could lead to a historic shift in consumer purchasing objectives.  Now that the majority of this manufacturing giant is owned by the public, does that make us any more likely to purchase one of their (our) vehicles?

Some would say of course.  “How unAmerican would you be considered amongst your peers if you chose a foreign manufacturer, considering future taxes and financial stability are linked to GM’s success?” asks Bill Doyle, VP of Performance Research.  Like minded individuals would agree that this sense of “new America” patriotism will offer the domestic auto industry a big bump as we rebound from rougher times.

Besides the possibility of increasing sales in the near future, the post recession customer base will offer GM a chance to re establish themselves as a viable option for the long term, and if they succeed, setting up the building blocks to create a new sense of brand loyalty.  The determining factor will be GM’s ability to lure skeptical consumers to sign on the dotted line, by invoking an air of U.S. pride, and offering a product comparable to Asian competition.

If given the option of two similar vehicles, at equivalent prices, I would like to think that I would purchase the American made automobile based on both economic impact, and national pride, but it would be require some consideration.  Why do we owe to these companies who took so much, yet how do we turn our backs on one of our own?

What would you do?

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