For hours on end every Sunday this fall, American football fans are going to see something new on their television screens: the Hyundai logo. The South Korean automaker is taking over for General Motors as the league’s top sponsor in a new four-year agreement.
No figures were released on the deal, but ESPN reported that Hyundai will pay $50 million annually: double GM’s $25 million payout. Unlike the GM deal, the NFL can still sell the truck category and the rights to give away that vehicle to the Super Bowl MVP. GM’s three-year deal was exclusive, but was tied specifically to GMC.
“We value our relationship with the NFL and its fans, but have decided to focus our sponsorship resources in other areas in the future,” GM said in a statement.
Hyundai’s U.S. sales have not enjoyed the same upward pitch of its competitors in the last few years, and this new deal should substantially increase Hyundai’s profile. Through may Hyundai’s U.S. sales are up 2.2%, compared with the 4.5% the industry is enjoying.
“We are huge football fans at Hyundai and feel there is no better venue to reach consumers, increase consideration and tell the Hyundai brand story,” said Dave Zuchowski, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America, in a statement.
“We can’t wait to show the NFL’s 188 million fans the great design, advanced technologies, dynamic performance and numerous safety features within the Hyundai lineup. The NFL and Hyundai also share a commitment to helping the communities where we do business, another important aspect of our sponsorship.”
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The brand is going to get plenty of exposure, as it gets the rights to use the NFL trademark in its advertising and it will gain access to display its logo and vehicles at high-profile events like the Super Bowl, NFL Combine, NFL Draft, NFL Kickoff and NFL Playoffs.
The automaker plans to kickoff its partnership on Sept. 10, when the NFL begins its season. The NFL is the country’s most watched sport.
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“With Hyundai struggling in U.S. markets, the partnership with the NFL ensures they’ll be seen constantly by millions of people, as the popularity of America’s biggest sport keeps growing,” said Akshay Anand, analyst at Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com.
Last year, Hyundai sponsored the FIFA World Cup with the motto “Because Fútbol.”
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“We’ve seen Hyundai tout success with other sports partnerships such as the World Cup, and this looks to add on to that success. It’s worth noting Hyundai’s sister company, Kia, is a partner with the NBA, and has seen success with marketing such as having stars dunk over a Kia Optima. For now, expect to see the new Tucson and upcoming Elantra on your TV sets on fall and winter Sundays.”