It’s not quite the postgame classic that “I’m going to Disney World!” is, but across recent years, Cadillac has steadily made its delivery of the Super Bowl MVP’s Cadillac of his choice an annual staple, in both the Super Bowl and World Series. Well, this year the postgame car delivery service was conspicuously absent, and there may be a perfectly legitimate conspiracy theory behind it: GM just doesn’t want to be shown giving away free cars with the taxpayers’ bailout money.
(Cadillac may downgrade to toy Escalades for future MVPs.)
According to the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, Cadillac specifically asked not to be mentioned in postgame festivities or news conferences. And before you think this is all just a conspiracy theory, consider this: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell openly admits that Cadillac was left out of the post-event celebration because they wanted no part of it.
It was at the request of Cadillac, commissioner Roger Goodell told the Daily News Monday. When asked if Cadillac asked not to be mentioned, he said, “Yes.”
For the record, new MVP Santonio Holmes understandably picked Cadillac’s most expensive model, it’s $85,200 Escalade Hybrid Platinum, in the aftermath of his selection on Sunday as his star-studded bounty. But how much of that price tag came out of your pocket, you ask? Probably all of it.
After all, Cadillac is the flagship brand for General Motors, and GM just received a whopping $9.4 billion bailout from Congress to keep afloat. The company is supposed to repay the loan, but who knows if and when that will actually happen.
(Wonder where Santonio got the idea for an Escalade, huh?)
Still, that doesn’t change the MVP award that the company negotiated with the league, and has been handing out for the past eight years. And yes, that means that Holmes is getting his new wheels.
“Given the current business environment, it was much more appropriate we not do that,” Cadillac spokesman Joanne Krell said in a phone interview. “We made the decision not to actively participate in the Super Bowl. We congratulate the MVP, it is a great achievement. We are very sensitive to the federal assistance loan we have received and we want to carry on our fiduciary responsibility. The Super Bowl was not a place for us to be this year. That is not to say it’s not a great platform. We will live up to the contract we negotiated.”
Hmm, sounds like buyer’s remorse, doesn’t it? Of course, that’s not going to be a problem for Holmes, given the handout price tag of his new ride.
For it’s part, Cadillac wasn’t alone. A number of big contributors and sponsors of Super Bowls past didn’t go all-in this year, and everyone assumes that it’s because of the economic slowdown. And everyone is right. That didn’t deter Goodell and Co. from being bullish about the game’s overnight ratings or its future, but it was a starkly different environment than the NFL has had its run over in the past.
“Some of our business partners decided to take a different approach around the game. But we respect that,” Goodell said.
Who knows when they’ll be back, particularly Cadillac. Certainly not before that bailout package is repaid, and likely not until they’ve got that new corporate jet the executives have been jonesin’ for. We hear that’s always high on the priorities list.