General Motors gave Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a Corvette following his near-perfect game. The 2010 Chevrolet Corvette convertible is worth $53,000, but Crain’s Detroit Business reports that the media exposure the gesture brought to GM was worth approximately $9 million. A non-contracted study by research group Joyce Julius & Associates Inc. tracked the exposure the Galarraga Corvette brought to GM across all forms of media, from 714 TV shots to 151,000 print publications and countless Web entries.
Galarraga Corvette windfall angers taxpayers
California Rep. Darrell Issa gave a critical voice to what many taxpayers are thinking after GM’s Galarraga Corvette gift. Issa’s spokesman Kurt Bardella told the New York Times that “Until GM has repaid the taxpayers in full for the money they have borrowed, every action they take should advance them in that direction.” The U.S. government currently owns 61 percent of GM after the auto bailout disaster, and because GM still owestaxpayers for its bailout investment, the Galarraga Corvette giveaway was quite inappropriate. Such is the case in spite of the fact that Armando Galarraga may have deserved praise for the manner in which he conducted himself following the blown call by umpire Jim Joyce that cost Galarraga a perfect game. Joyce later showed contrition and admitted that he had made a mistake with the call. Without he blown call, Armando Galarraga’s game was perfect.
GM claims it repaid the loan, but it did that with another bailout loan
Rep. Issa isn’t the only one who noticed that GM aired a TV commercial in May 2010 that claimed it had paid back its government bailout loan. According to Crain’s, the fact is that GM was only able to do so because it took out an additional government auto bailout loan. Perhaps the $9 million windfall from the Galarraga Corvette can help them take care of that loan on the books? That kind of brand value exposure works just as well as any other asset when it comes to repaying debt.
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