LONDON - Opel will not judge the success of its sponsorship of the World Cup football championship by improved sales alone.
'It's not a question of getting our money back, but a question of brand image and popularizing it in the minds of people,' said a spokeswoman for General Motors Europe. 'Opel has a long tradition of sport sponsorship.'
GM Europe says it already has orders for 90,000 of the special edition Corsa World Cup model that went on sale in January.
In the first four months GM Corsa sales were up 9.1 percent to 193,498, compared with 1997.
The company hopes to increase sales of all other models but declined to project results.
Opel also would not say how much it paid FIFA, football's world governing body, for its sponsorship package. The package includes:
Pitch-side advertising boards
Television broadcast sponsorship
World Cup Internet site ads
World Cup merchandise
The title, Exclusive Automobile Sponsor of the World Cup.
Opel will provide a fleet of 650 cars - mostly Omegas, Sintras and Vectras - to transport teams, referees, officials and journalists in the 10 venue cities. Bus and truck company Scania will provide 52 buses as the exclusive bus sponsor.
During matches involving Scotland and England, Vauxhall will substitute for Opel on advertising boards.
Opel has sponsored previous World Cup and European Cup football championships. The average worldwide TV audience is expected to be 400 million across 200 countries.
There will be 64 matches, starting 10 June.