Olympic sponsor General Motors was given a pass by Mayor Robertson as he decided to drive a competitor's electric vehicle during the Games instead
Earlier this week we reported that Mayor Gregor Robertson had snubbed Air Canada, an Olympic sponsor, by hooking his wagon to Virgin Air owner Richard Branson. By doing so, the Mayor unwittingly provided the British-based airline with a big opportunity to undertake some ambush marketing during the Games.
That story triggered a little brown envelope which made its way through our mail slot. We've been advised by a City Hall insider that the folks at General Motors are not too happy. After spending millions to sponsor Vancouver's Olympics, the Mayor has given them a big snub. We're told that 2010 Olympic sponsor GM offered Robertson the use of an eco-friendly hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle during the 17 days of the Games, but he turned it down.
We're told his Worship is planning to drive the Mitsubishi i Miev during the Games instead of a GM product. Mitsubishi must be salivating over the potential ambush marketing opportunity of having the Olympic Mayor driving their vehicle around town while GM spent big bucks to secure the rights to sponsor the Games.
According to an email we received from our City Hall insider:
He was offered the use of an eco-friendly GM product during the Games, but he didn't think that was good enough. He turned down GM's offer to drive the hyrdogen fueled Equinox and is going with an electric vehicle from Mitsubishi instead. We're told GM is really pissed with his decision.
Not only are the folks at GM choked with Robertson's decision, apparently the brass at VANOC are also scrambling with how to deal with this potential hiccup. It would be an absolute no-no to have the Mayor pull up to an Olympic venue in a non-sponsored vehicle. One option VANOC officials are seriously considering is whether to cover up the Mitsubishi logo with duct tape for any public events.
If you think that notion is far fetched, just consider that Olympic volunteers are being told they cannot wear any apparel at official venues which is not properly branded. That's why they better not come show up for duty with their Telus hats or their Burger King visors...that too is a big no-no and would be grounds to send them packing.
Staff at City Hall are becoming increasingly frustrated with a Mayor who seems completely oblivious to the fact that Olympic sponsors spent millions to help provide him with a financially successful Games. Robertson's latest gaffe of snubbing GM is yet another sign our Olympic Mayor might not quite realize the enormity of the event he's about to host.
- post by Daniel