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SBD Global/July 31, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

ManU Agrees To $600M Shirt Sponsorship Deal With General Motors

General Motors unveiled a seven-year, $600M shirt sponsorship deal with ManU one day after the U.S. automaker's Global CMO, Joel Ewanick, "was ousted in connection with a deal" with the EPL club, according to Ben Klayman of REUTERS. The deal, which begins in the '14-15 season, will see GM pay between $60-$70M per season, "at least double the current fee" paid by current sponsor Aon. GM will also pay the club a $100M "activation fee" (REUTERS, 7/30). In London, Mark Ogden noted that with ManU's owners, the Glazer family, preparing to float a portion of their stake in the club on the N.Y. Stock Exchange, the agreement with GM "could prove significant in terms of raising awareness of the club, and confidence in their financial situation." The deal was "accelerated by General Motors" following the impact of United's visit to China last week for the Chevrolet China Cup match against Shanghai Shenhua in Shanghai (TELEGRAPH, 7/30). In N.Y., Terlep & Vranica reported that GM had been "altering terms of the deal" negotiated by Ewanick. GM told Ewanick he was being removed for "failing to properly vet financial details" of the multimillion-dollar agreement. Meanwhile, GM is "pushing Chevrolet to become the group's principal global brand" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/30).

GLOBAL REACH: In Detroit, Brent Snavely reported that Chevrolet will be GM's brand to be displayed on the club's shirts. The deal with ManU will give the brand a "high-profile presence on the field." The sponsorship deal makes Chevrolet just the fifth company to sponsor the football team's jersey in its 134-year history. Last week, Chevrolet also said that it had entered a four-year agreement with Liverpool FC to "become its official automotive partner." GM spokesperson Tom Henderson said, "They are completely separate deals. We sponsor both clubs because they are two of the most legendary clubs in the world. For us, it's about global reach to fans who are really passionate about soccer" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 7/30).
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