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Hyundai Is The New NFL Car Sponsor – And Who Cares?

The NFL has done some rethinking. Generally, they’ve decided that General Motors is not going to be their official sponsor this year. Instead, they’ve teamed up with South Korean carmaker, Hyundai, which will be the official new NFL car sponsor of this season’s games and beyond.

But not just for this season. The deal spans four years and was announced just today. It takes full effect on Kickoff Sunday, which is September 10th this year. And you can expect to see plenty of the signature “H” logos prevailing as the NFL celebrates their newest sponsor.

“We are pleased to welcome Hyundai to our family of sponsors,” NFL senior vice president of sponsorship Renie Anderson said in a league-issued release. “We appreciate Hyundai’s enthusiasm as we work together to reach our fans with innovative programs during our season and with our major calendar events throughout the year.”

Of course, while the predominant parts of these vehicles are made overseas, the company has a very strong U.S. presence. They recently built a multibillion dollar plant in Alabama; the company is headquartered in California; and they have over 800 dealerships nationwide.

While the NFL has traditionally strategically relied upon American brands to help cement its red, white and blue image, when you look closer, it’s also aligned with plenty of foreign brands, too. In 2013 Toyota represented a whopping 33% of NFL sponsorship. So this is really nothing new.

But for a foreign automaker to become the biggest sponsor, it seems to have created some form of backlash with U.S. citizens. Ironically, many of these people probably drive foreign cars, even Hyundai makes and models, to boot.

So what’s the big deal if the NFL uses foreign sponsors? We already recently covered NFL paid military promotion. Is it really that surprising the world’s largest tax-free business relies on sponsors of all types to drive billions in advertising revenue each year?

Nah. The NFL would rather focus on ban-hammering Tom Brady than give a hoot what international sponsors take part. I mean, because, after all, it’s just trying to expand to London and Mexico in the future.

But we all know how the NFL Europe turned out… right? Perhaps keeping this sport an American sport and leaving it where it belongs makes the most sense in the end. All brands aside, of course. But that would never happen… this is Merica!

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6 comments

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