Man United Say Chevrolet Sponsorship Will Boost U.S. Fan Base
May 31, 2012
United's Ryan Giggs with a Chevrolet Malibu (GM)
(WFI) Manchester United's commercial director believes Chevrolet's new five-year sponsorship announced today will boost the club's profile in America.
“With 659 million United fans and followers around the world, the commitment that Chevrolet is making to football and its plans to bring these fans closer to our club is very exciting for us," said Richard Arnold.
"This is also the first time we have teamed up with a U.S. automotive partner and with the growing popularity of the club and English football in America, we are hoping the relationship will allow us to further expand our fan base in the country.”
U.S.-based carmaker General Motors unveiled the deal to make Chevrolet the club’s official automotive partner at a press conference in Shanghai today. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Chevrolet replaces Audi as the club's auto sponsor and is part of a push to turn it into a bigger brand globally. Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is already one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than four million cars and trucks a year.
United CEO David Gill said: “Although part of two very different industries, Chevrolet and Manchester United share many of the same values.
"Like the club, it is steeped in history having recently celebrated its centenary and it has also grown to be a global brand, selling cars in more than 140 countries. Above all, it too strives to be the best in its field."
United, who boast a record 19 English league championships, claim record turnover for a British club and the highest operating profit levels in world football.
For its part, Chevrolet pledged that fans will be at the heart of its sponsorship "with a constant focus on bringing the club supporters and football fans around the world closer to the game than ever before".
"If our aspirations are to build global icon status for Chevrolet... soccer far and away is the world's biggest sport," GM's executive director of global marketing strategy Paul Edwards was quoted by Reuters.
"Manchester United stands head and shoulders above the other teams in terms of scale, brand value and their legacy in the sport."
General Motors is investing money on the United deal that it has saved on shelving advertising on Facebook and withdrawing ads from TV coverage of next February’s Super Bowl.
Under the sponsorship, the Chevrolet brand's bowtie will appear on stadium signage with the emblem having a visual presence on the backdrops for manager and player interviews.
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
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