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Power Players

No. 79
Kevin Mayer

Director of Advertising, Sales and Promotion
Chevrolet
In The Driver's Seat...

Need proof that Chevrolet's heritage has the most impact in music of any automaker? The cast of "Glee" literally sang the 100-year-old carmaker's praises during the 2011 Super Bowl, making its rendition of "See the U.S.A. in Your Chevrolet" one of the biggest music highlights of the most-watched TV event in U.S. history. The program was under the guidance of Kevin Mayer--but that's hardly all of his power base. Chevrolet is a longtime sponsor of South by Southwest, one of music marketing's most influential confabs, thus shutting out its competition as new entrants keep crowding the auto-marketing category. (Hyundai Veloster, Kia Soul, Ford Fiesta and Toyota Scion are just four of nearly a dozen car brands that have latched onto multimillion-dollar music programs in the last two years.) What sets Chevy's Kevin Mayer apart? "He's putting his neck on the line for music," one key music marketing exec says. He has the fattest wallet among automakers, too. Of the top spenders in U.S. sponsorships in 2010, parent company General Motors outspent Toyota $185 million to $150 million, according to WPP's IEG Deep Pockets sponsorship report-a healthy portion of which went to Chevrolet initiatives.

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