Chevy "Instrumental" In Bringing ManU To Michigan Ahead Of Shirt Sponsorship Deal
Chevrolet is bringing EPL club Manchester United "to Michigan this summer to host a match" with its $600M sponsorship of the team in hand, according to Sean Gagnier of AUTOMOTIVE NEWS. The Aug. 2 match against La Liga club Real Madrid will be part of the '14 Guinness Int'l Champions Cup and played at Michigan Stadium. Chevy’s seven-year sponsorship of the club begins July 1 (AUTONEWS.com, 4/4). In Detroit, Angelique Chengelis noted one of the goals of the game "is to set a soccer attendance record" for a soccer match in the U.S. The current record is 101,700 set at the '84 Olympics for the Gold Medal men's match at the Rose Bowl between France and Brazil. Michigan Stadium has a capacity of 109,901. Tickets "range between $45-189." UM AD Dave Brandon: "It’s a great opportunity to draw attention to who we are, where we are and what we do." Chevy also will be a sponsor for the Champions Cup. Chevy VP/U.S. Marketing Paul Edwards said of places considered to host the match, "It was always U-M -- our vision was to have the biggest match in the Big House. That was the dream from about two and a half years ago when we first started talking about this. ... We figured if we’re going to do something in our backyard, why not do it in the biggest way possible." Brandon said that a college football weekend at Michigan Stadium "generates roughly" $14M for the region, and he believes that this match "will produce at least the equivalent of that" (DETROIT NEWS, 4/5).
MORE SOCCER: In Detroit, Bill Shea noted Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross, whose Relevent Sports agency is running the Champions Cup, "has donated more money than anyone else" to UM. Ross, a UM alum, also thinks that the U.S. "is ripe for more soccer." RSE Ventures CEO Matt Higgins said of the company's focus on soccer, "It was really Steve's idea." Higgins also called General Motors' involvement in the tournament "instrumental to making it happen." Higgins: "They've been a big driver of it. Manchester United is a big partnership, so this is a great showcase" (CRAINSDETROIT.com, 4/6).