David Prosser: Vauxhall takes a gamble on England

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The Independent Online

Outlook Best of luck to Vauxhall in its new sponsorship deal with the England football team. With GM, Vauxhall's parent, fighting its way back from the abyss of a year or so ago and England keen to put last year's awful World Cup showing behind it, one might see this deal as a double whammy of a brand relaunch.

Sports sponsorship, however, is always a gamble. Nationwide Building Society, England's previous sponsor, was happy to walk away from the deal following the World Cup. Having made an offer for renewal prior to the tournament, which the Football Association turned down in expectation of a triumphant performance in South Africa boosting the value of the contract, Nationwide didn't bother to return to the table.

Spanning Euro 2012 in Poland and the Ukraine as well as the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Vauxhall's contract has the potential to be more successful – or less so, if the England team again disappoints. The rumour is that Vauxhall is paying £40m for the contract (which will also include the other home nations). It is showing remarkable faith.