Buick has inked a three-year marketing deal with the NCAA that is seen to be another attempt by the brand to get out of its grandfatherly image. At a press conference, Tony DiSalle, vice president of marketing for Buick, said that the brand had wanted a high profile platform that was ‘large enough’ to build on the momentum that it has already established in the market.
Under this sponsorship, commercials for the Buick Regal and LaCrosse sedans will air during the NCAA men's basketball tournament. DiSalle added that the NCAA audience represents the “right customers for Buick” as they are “affluent and highly educated."
Buick takes the opportunity to fill the void left by Pontiac, which had been an NCAA sponsor before it was terminated in 2009. Chris Perry, GM's head of U.S. marketing, said that this deal gives a wider audience than Buick’s sponsorship of the PGA tour, which ended in 2009.
This marketing deal actually goes beyond basketball as it will include college football, women's soccer and the Frozen Four hockey tournament. Last year, GM overhauled Buick’s marketing department.
This sponsorship marks the first major campaign since then. Under the leadership of Joel Ewanick, GM's global marketing chief, the company has rekindled advertising and sponsorship ties with major events, including the Super Bowl and World Series.