-- "A cold front that has raged across much of Europe over the past week has brought arctic temperatures, icy high winds and dozens of deaths. In addition to its human toll, it has been a marketing snafu for BMW AG's Mini brand.
Germany lets people—or companies—pick and sponsor the names of weather fronts
. In recent years, these corporate weather sponsors have ranged from News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox—which paid for the names Yoda, Luke and Leia to promote the "Star Wars" film franchise—to a German online shoe-shopping site, a car dealership and a tax consultant.
A marketing agency for Mini decided that BMW should bet on a sponsorship that would make potential customers associate Mini's new roadster with brisk but sunny weather. For €299 ($394), it bought the name for a 2012 high-pressure area and dubbed it Cooper. It spent another €199 on a low-pressure system and secured the name Minnie.
But as Cooper swept through Eastern Europe, it brought more than the wintry sunshine Mini had hoped for. Temperatures sank to below minus 30 degrees Celsius, or minus 22 Fahrenheit, and more than 250 people have died, mostly in Ukraine, Poland and Romania.
Mini has since issued a statement, saying it regretted the cold snap's "catastrophic proportions" and deaths of its victims. "It was not intentional, and you cannot tell in advance what a weather system will do," it said."