After Scott Gomez won a car recently for pulling off a ridiculous hole-in-one at his golf tournament in Anchorage, he said that although a new car in Alaska is nice, he doesn’t need one in Montreal because the players are sponsored by BMW and that’s what they drive there.
What a nice perk for the players. A shiny BMW to drive all winter, without the hassle of actually paying for it.
But I don’t think it’s always been the case that a car company outfits an entire team across the board with their product like BMW is doing now. In the past, I’m pretty sure players worked out their own deals with dealerships.
Below, in the mid-seventies, Guy Lafleur had it going with Chevrolet. The Monte Carlo was a bit of a gas guzzler, but back then, gas was cheap (.45 cents a gallon in Canada in 1976), and it was no big deal for Flower. He was making his 100 grand with the Habs and a similar amount in endorsements, and he’d fill ‘er up when he stopped in for smokes, which were probably free too.