The National Basketball League here in Australia has been in some reasonably deep financial doo-doo in the last few years. At it’s zenith back in the days when Michael Jordan really popularised basketball around the world, teams drew good crowds and the competition was successful. Today, a number of the teams struggle to draw a crowd sufficient to break even. Teams come and go, they relocate and resurface with a new name but the same faces with monotonous regularity.
All these are all part of the reason why sponsorship for the NBL is such a big thing. The teams themselves are struggling, but devoid of a big TV rights contract, the league itself is also in a fix.
Hummer have been announced as the 2007/08 season naming rights sponsor in a deal estimated to be worth around $900,000 for the year. Spokespeople from GM Premium Brands (which includes Saab) have stated that they are looking for it to be a long term relationship – big cars for big people.
All this is fine and dandy, but where’s Saab’s ongoing long-term exposure in Australia coming from?
Saab have a number of regular short term sponsorship and marketing deals. In November they’ll likely host a number of movers and shakers in their hospitality tent at the nation’s biggest race meeting – the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
They also co-sponsor some design awards with Belle, a lifestyle and design magazine.
My major concern when Saab Australia got folded into GM Premium Brands was that they wouldn’t get additional resources to promote the new collection of brands under their care. Hummer has now been added to Saab and soon enough, Cadillac will follow.
Next week at the Australian International Motor Show, the team from GM Premium Brands will have not one, but two displays, unveilings, press kits, invitation lists etc etc to organise.
The people I’ve met from Saab Oz are all hard working and good people and I’ve got a lot of time for them. Have they been given the extra resources to cope with all this, or has the time they can commit to Saab been halved with the addition of Hummer to the portfolio?
Thanks to Turbin for the heads-up.