Chevrolet delighted with Man United deal – then sacks the man who signed it

Chevrolet’s press release about becoming only the fifth shirt sponsor of the club in its history was sugar and spice and all things nice. Strange then, the General Motors, Chevrolet’s parent company sacked its head of Marketing, Joel Ewanick, at almost the same time, with a curt statement which read, “He failed to meet the expectations that the company has for its employees”.

The statement about the Man United deal says it was signed for “an undisclosed amount” – which is ironic because rumour has it that GM didn’t know the full amount either – Ewanick is said to have kept the details from his bosses.

Considering that GM is one of the most process-driven companies in the world, and that it is still partly state owned by a reluctant US government on the look-out for any misbehaviour, that would be an amazing situation. At GM you don’t buy paperclips without three levels of approval – keeping the details of a multi-million pound deal secret at GM is about as sensible as trying a casual break-in at MI6 HQ.

Ewanick’s replacement, Alan Batey, put a brave face on things:

“We are extremely proud to connect our brand, Chevrolet, with Manchester United and its passionate supporters all around the world. Manchester United’s statistics are impressive, but this relationship goes far beyond the numbers – this relationship is about connecting our brand with the deep-seated emotion that surrounds the team everywhere it goes.”