We Hear: GM Marketing Boss Ewanick Removed for not Disclosing Full Cost of Manchester United Deal

We now have more information on the sponsorship deal with U.K. soccer team Manchester United that may have led to GM marketing boss Joel Ewanick’s departure. Bloomberg reports a whistle-blower revealed to GM’s management that Ewanick not only overspent on the deal, but was also spreading the $559 million cost among different marketing budgets.

Chevrolet Manchester United soccer partnership 02 300x187 imageThe report, based on Bloomberg interviews with unnamed insiders, also says clashes between Ewanick and GM CEO Dan Akerson began weeks before when the marketing executive reportedly used profanity during a conference in Cannes, France. But it appears the Manchester United deal was what eventually cost Ewanick his job. As we previously reported, that deal placed the Chevrolet logo on team members’ jerseys in an effort to spread global awareness for the brand.

A regulatory filing by the team revealed the agreement was comprised of an $18.6 million payment this year, which would rise to roughly $70 million by the start of the season in 2014, according to Bloomberg. Following that, GM’s payments increase by 2.1 percent each season.

Ewanick, who helped create the Hyundai Assurance program a few years ago, told his bosses that the Manchester United deal’s high cost wasn’t out of the ordinary for such a large contract.GM’s investigators, however, disagreed after examining Ewanick’s accounts, finding he didn’t accurately disclose as much as a third of what the contract would cost.

Source: Bloomberg

By Alex Nishimoto