Back about a week ago, with the terms of the latest GM bailout revealed, was a small but significant term mentioned, but not greatly covered. The federal government was, as part of the new auto bailout terms, forcing GM to drop it's corporate sponsorships for sporting events. This means auto racing, FLW fishing tournaments, the works. Many praised this policy as a good move. GM should not be giving away money when they are in financial hardship. But is this not the most significant media for positive GM advertisement available to them? Let's have a look. Who predominately follows FLW tour events? Middle class, suburban/rural working males. Middle Americans, who proudly wave the Stars and Stripes, have buy American bumper stickers. Drive pick-ups and SUV, support our troops, tow boats, have families. In short, the prime level of consumers that GM needs to connect with. This same crowd dynamic composes the fan base of racing events. What happens when GM pulls out of these events. One only needs to look to B.A.S.S. and when Chevy pulled out. Toyota jumped right in. Look at the B.A.S.S. tour now, Tundra's and Sequoias as far as the eye can see. Go to sporting shows, there is the Toyota booth, official sponsor of the B.A.S.S. Master Classic. Significance, over the past several season, local fisherman competing in local events have bought more Toyotas than GMs. Just go to a boat ramp at a major lake and see what vehicles are present. Should GM pull out of these existing sponsorships, the same trend will happen. Middle class Americans are loyal consumers, and they will support the company that supports their interests. It was money well spent for Toyota, and for GM to give up another platform, could be catastrophic. Just a few months back, Forrest L. Wood, founder of Ranger Boats and the FLW tour sent out a personal email to all FLW members urging them to support GM citing their loyalty to bass fishing and the American way of life. Does GM really want to and can they afford to alienate this loyal consumer base? Learn from past mistakes GM and the Federal Government. Don't turn away middle America, they are a consumer base you cannot survive without. And one that Toyota will be all to happy to suck up to.