Joel Ewanick, the former global marketing chief of General Motors, remarked that signing the Chevrolet-Manchester United sponsorship agreement that eventually led to his dismissal in July 2012 was a "no brainer." Ewanick said that it was clear that the agreement would bring Chevrolet increased brand exposure, purchase consideration and global awareness worth "over four times" the sponsorship's cost.
Sources have estimated the sponsorship deal to cost Chevrolet $600 million over seven years. Ewanick was terminated weeks after the announcement of the Manchester United sponsorship deal. At the time, a GM spokesman said that Ewanick was dismissed after he "failed to meet the expectations the company has of an employee." Sources, however, later said that the improper handling of the sponsorship deal led to Ewanick's dismissal from GM.
Ewanick said during the J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable that they “crunched more data than I've ever seen.” He remarked that they had three separate media and consulting firms take a look at the deal and its estimated worth, adding that they even had the “internal GM team do it.” He said that for the amount of money involved in the sponsorship agreement, it was the “biggest no-brainer I've seen."
The Manchester United sponsorship deal is one of the few major schemes from Ewanick's tenure at GM that are still being implemented. Days after Ewanick's dismissal, the deal was expanded to include the right for Chevrolet to display its logo on the Manchester United team's jerseys – something that was not part the original deal Ewanick inked. [source: Jalopnik]