The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has given us more insight into Lexus’ presence at the U.S. Open:
The U.S. Open at Oakmont marked the first time the USGA has used corporate sponsors in its history, and in the 107-year history of the Open.
“American Express was the only other sponsor,” noted Vince Salisbury, event marketing manager for Lexus. In the past, when players arrived at the airport they would just use a rental car, so every player was in a different car.
“There was no consistency and it was more complicated,” said Salisbury. “Part of the agreement with Lexus was that we would provide cars for all the players and USGA officials. The cars were prepared with decals on the front doors that say “Official car of the U.S. Open,” with that great squirrel logo.”
Also mentioned was an aspect of the car lending that I didn’t even consider:
The concept of the Lexus luxury lifestyle was clearly imparted because the company got inquiries all week about the cars. “People were asking for particular ones, especially if they were driven by particular players. Unfortunately our distribution doesn’t really allow for that. Of course they wanted us to leave the decal on!” [ Lexus event marketing manager Vince] Salisbury said, laughing.
Of course people would want cars driven by their favorite players in the event — Too bad Lexus couldn’t accommodate them.