Tiger Woods will no longer be the primary pitchman for Buick because General Motors wants a broader role for the golf great, the automaker's top sales executive said.
Mark LaNeve, GM's vice president of North American sales, service and marketing, said GM will use Woods in corporate level marketing and in particular, with its OnStar marketing campaign.
"Tiger's a great asset," LaNeve said. "We can use him in lots of ways. Why shouldn't we use him in ways other than Buick?"
LaNeve said the product strategy of how to best use Woods is to sell cars based on their own attributes, not on their ties to a particular celebrity.
"We don't want a celebrity at the core of any brand. We want the message on Buick to be about Buick," he said.
Woods has had a sponsorship agreement with Buick since 1999 and agreed to a new deal in 2004 believed to be worth more than $40 million over five years.
Buick has said the contract does not require Woods to play in specific PGA Tour events it sponsors but organizers are optimistic he will play in this year's Buick Open starting Thursday at Warwick Hills in Grand Blanc.
Woods' schedule is uncertain now that he's a first-time father. His daughter, Sam Alexis Woods, was born on Monday.