GM reportedly negotiating with Mets

Updated: December 17, 2008, 12:53 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- General Motors Corp. won't be the automotive sponsor for the New York Yankees when the team's new stadium opens next year.

Instead, General Motors is negotiating a new contract with the New York Mets, Bloomberg Sports reported.

"We still want a presence in New York and we can't do both," GM Northeast region spokeswoman Andrea Canabal said in a telephone interview, according to Bloomberg. "We are looking at what we can do to save some costs."

Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost said Tuesday that Toyota and Audi will take over as the club's auto sponsors. The new deals are for ballpark signage, as was the previous contract with GM.

General Motors was a Yankees sponsor from 2006-08.

"We understand their financial condition," Trost said. "I think it was a mutual understanding."

GM spokesman John McDonald said that in light of the current economic conditions, the automaker is reviewing all of its sponsorship activities as part of a plan to cut its marketing and promotions budget by 20 percent.

In addition, contracts with about six other major league teams expire at the end of this year, and those deals are being reviewed as well.

GM also recently decided against renewing a similar contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but its broader contract with MLB runs through 2010.

Last month, GM's Buick brand said it was concluding its marketing contract with Tiger Woods one year early. That contract was valued at $7 million per year.

The automaker said in September that it would not air a TV advertisement during the 2009 Super Bowl. That came after an announcement that it was also passing on airing ads during the Emmy Awards and the Academy Awards.

McDonald said he couldn't comment on the values of the contracts involved or the amount of money GM expected to save by eliminating them.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.