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SBD Global/January 16, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

ManU Signs Three-Year Sponsorship Deals With Chinese Soft Drink Maker, Bank

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ManU announced a pair of three-year sponsorship deals with companies based in China: soft drink manufacturer Wahaha and China Construction Bank. The deals are ManU’s first-ever in the soft drink and financial services categories. Wahaha, the largest beverage producer in China over the last 11 years, will be designated as the club’s official soft drink partner in China. CCB received exclusive rights to produce the club’s branded credit card in Mainland China, where it will be offered to the bank’s 102 million customers. Since '75, ManU has visited China 11 times to play friendly matches, including a trip last August (Chris Botta, SportsBusiness Journel). REUTERS' Keith Weir wrote that the deal underlies "the global appeal of English football." ManU claims "more than 100 million followers in China" (REUTERS, 1/15). In London, Roger Blitz wrote the deals come "ahead of crucial Premier League talks on cost control, which could see the club's ability to generate substantial revenues earn a decisive advantage over rivals." New ManU sponsorship deals "are being announced frequently as the club pushes to exploit its global brand recognition." But just as significant is the need to "boost revenues to help the club compete in the new era of financial control in European football" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 1/15).
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