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SBD Global/May 8, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Chevy Uses Manchester United Deal To Move Into Chinese Marketplace

ManU Manager Alex Ferguson, left, attends a Chevrolet event on July 26 in Shanghai.
Chevrolet hopes that football "can do for it in China what baseball did for it in the U.S.," according to Nathan Bomey of the DETROIT FREE PRESS. A year after GM signed a $559M sponsorship "that will put the Chevrolet name on uniforms" of ManU beginning next year, the deal is "beginning to attract consumers in China." Chevrolet China General Dir Richard Choi said, “One of the reasons we’ve grown so fast is we have these road shows. It’s essentially an auto show in a truck. We’ll go out to these rural markets and we open up. It becomes like the thing to do in that city that day.” The road show “sets up a kicking contest for kids, displays Manchester United gear and introduces Chevy to consumers who know nothing of GM’s recent travails that culminated in the 2009 bankruptcy.” Customers at the Dongchang Chevrolet dealership in Shanghai “come face to face with a huge Manchester United poster splashed across a wall.” Bomey notes China is GM’s “biggest market, but it was Chevy’s third-biggest market in 2012, behind the U.S. and Brazil.” Choi said that China “would pass Brazil this year.” If ManU “has an excellent year, there may be room for more growth” (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 5/7).
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