General Motors’ quick and sudden move to give Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Gallaraga a Chevrolet Corvette convertible cost them $53,000. However, despite giving away the car for nary a penny, GM is still all smiles about the whole thing.
Proving that they’re also shrewd businessmen, General Motors made a calculated decision of giving Gallaraga the Corvette, not just because they wanted to reward the man who lost out on a perfect game because of an errant call by an umpire, but also because they thought that by doing so, the media mileage behind that story would’ve made everything worth it. Turns out, the gamble paid off. Big time.
According to Joyce Julis & Associates, a Michigan-based firm that deals with stuff involving sponsorships and their public reach, GM’s give-away of the Corvette to Gallaraga netted them a ton of media coverage, thanks in large part to how big the whole story became. JJ&A estimates that the media mileage GM received was equivalent to that of $9 million, which in case you’re wondering is a far cry from the $53,000 Corvette they gave away.
That was some grade A, top notch business sense.