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SBD Global/January 11, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Chevy To Use Sunday's ManU-Liverpool Match To Launch New 'Find New Roads' Campaign

ManU Manager Alex Ferguson attends a Chevrolet event on July 26 in Shanghai.
Chevrolet is "right in the middle of sponsorship of a huge athletic contest" this weekend with a global audience that "could far exceed that of the Super Bowl," according to Dale Buss of FORBES. When ManU and Liverpool face off in Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon, Chevy will be "as tight with the clubs and players as their sweaty jerseys on the pitch." General Motors VP of U.S. sales, service and global marketing Alan Batey said, "This platform is huge for us, and it’s really only the beginning of our relationship" with ManU, Liverpool and the Premier League. Batey: "It will be a huge part of creating awareness for Chevy around the world." And "taking advantage of -- as well as boosting -- Chevy’s increasingly global platform" is one main reason for the new "Find New Roads" positioning, which is replacing the "Chevy Runs Deep." Chevy does not get to put its name on ManU jerseys until '14, but it is "activating other parts of the deal." And Chevy "became the official automotive partner of the Liverpool club as well." Chevrolet is marketing Sunday’s match in three ways: A social campaign featuring videos of each team's players talking about the sport on Facebook with its ChevroletFC (for “fan club”) platform; "on-ground" appearances of signage and various Chevy vehicles and activities at Old Trafford, where Sunday's match will be played; and a cause-driven sponsorship of "One World Futbol Project," the charity co-founded by musician Sting that distributes "virtually indestructible" footballs to kids around the world. Given the intensity of the ManU-Liverpool rivalry, it is "hardly surprising that Chevrolet has stepped into some controversy surrounding the game." An ad already running in the U.K. has "set the social media universe ablaze because it makes it seem as if the rivals are united by fusing together the faces of players from the opposing teams, uttering the same words." GM Dir of Communications for Chevy and Cadillac in Europe Vijay Iyer said, "We’re feeding on the rivalry but talking about what unifies them"  (FORBES, 1/10).
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