Tigers Owner Giving Automakers Free Advertising

Sure, it won’t directly help sell cars, but Mike Illitch is doing his part to try to help save America’s automakers. The Detroit Tigers owner is refusing to boot General Motors from Comerica Park’s premium advertising space — with GM’s name and cars on a fountain beyond center field — despite the fact that the company can’t make the payments on the original sponsorship deal that landed it the spot in the first place.

general motors fountain

(If we’d known it was free, we would have pushed to make it “SportsbyBrooks Fountain.” That has a ring to it, doesn’t it?)

GM had to quit corporate sponsorship of a variety of different sports teams after it received federal funding to help avoid bankruptcy. But, according to BLOOMBERG, the Tigers decided to let GM continue to use the space, which it will share with Chrysler and Ford, for free for the entire 2009 season:

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Detroit Tigers’ New Team Slogan? Winner Winner

Miguel Cabrera signed a seven-year extension to his 2007 one-year contract over the weekend. Pending a physical today, he will be $141m richer than he was a week ago. He joins fellow Detroit Tigers Curtis Granderson and Dontrelle Willis with lucrative ink stains on their signing hands last winter. Eyes have popped at each of the contracts, none moreso than Cabrera.

Detroit Tigers vie for World Series title

Mike Ilitch, the owner of the Little Caesars pizza chain and the Tigers, has jacked the Opening Day payroll over $95m this season, up from $47m in 2004. His controversial signings of Ivan Rodriguez, Magglio Ordoñez, and Gary Sheffield have yielded a highly competitive team; these newest extensions solidify the future of the franchise on the field.

While Cabrera’s new contract might be the most lucrative, it’s not the most important extension Ilitch has ever given out. No, that honor goes to…
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