San Francisco Giants replace Cruise self-driving car uniform patch with another GM brand

The San Francisco Giants said goodbye this week to a uniform patch that advertised Cruise and its robotaxis — the latest fallout for the GM self-driving subsidiary and its controversial presence in the city.

The marketing partnership, which was announced in August 2023, will continue, but with another GM brand. For the 2024 baseball season, SF Giants uniforms will show the Chevrolet logo with the “EV” in bolded orange. Chevrolet’s all-electric vehicle portfolio including the Chevy Blazer EV, the upcoming Equinox and the Chevy Silverado EV. The automaker recently stopped making the Chevy Bolt and Chevy Bolt EUV and paused sales of the Chevy Blazer EV over a software problem that affects the infotainment system.

The uniform patch change comes several months after San Francisco-based Cruise lost its commercial permit to operate robotaxis in the city following an October incident that left a pedestrian stuck under, and then dragged, by one of its self-driving cars. In the months since, Cruise co-founder and CEO Kyle Vogt resigned, 24% of its staff were laid off, the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission have opened up investigations and GM has scrambled to put the company back on track with new leadership.

“As the 2024 baseball season approaches, Cruise is transitioning our Giants marketing partnership, including rights as the official uniform patch partner, to Chevrolet – keeping it in the GM family,” an emailed statement from a Cruise spokesperson reads. “In keeping with our mission to provide safe, reliable, accessible transportation, Cruise remains invested in its shared commitment with the Giants to develop hundreds of electric vehicle chargers in ballpark parking facilities for event-goers and the public.”

A spokesperson with the San Francisco Giants said it was a “natural transition to make and was decided by all parties.” When asked if Cruise would return to the uniform patch in 2025, the spokesperson said “we do not know at this time.”

“It’s also a good opportunity for Chevrolet, as they have a longstanding history of supporting MLB as the official auto sponsor of the MLB and sponsor of 14 teams in the last 20 years,” the San Francisco Giants spokesperson said. “Meanwhile, Cruise remains invested in its shared investment with the Giants to develop hundreds of electric vehicle chargers in ballpark parking facilities for event-goers and the public.”

As part of the original deal, Cruise had agreed to install more than 100 electric vehicle chargers in Oracle Park parking facilities.

As TechCrunch noted back last June, selling ad space on the uniforms worn by professional athletes is common practice in some sports. But it’s a newer phenomenon in Major League Baseball. The beginning of the 2023 season saw seven of the league’s 30 teams selling sponsorships, including the San Francisco Giants.

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