Chevrolet Lauds Global Benefits Of ManU Deal As Shirt Sponsorship Debut Nears
ManU will play in its Chevrolet jerseys Wednesday night, and Kevin Baxter of the L.A. TIMES analyzes the impact of the record seven-year, $560M match-shirt sponsorship deal between the club and automaker. Because Major League Baseball "wasn't exactly the global marketing tool Chevy needed" to continue its growth overseas, the brand two years ago "turned to the world's game." Chevy's "realignment will get its first test drive" Wednesday at the Rose Bowl when it "replaces the logo of Aon" on the front of ManU's uniforms for a friendly with the Major League Soccer L.A. Galaxy. GM Global Marketing General Dir Megan Stooke said, "Chevrolet as a global brand is really trying to strengthen our position in a lot of the emerging markets. When you look at the fan base of Manchester United ... we saw a great alignment in those markets." Baxter notes "other deep-pocketed companies are following" in Chevy's tracks. Adidas last week "more than doubled the Chevy deal," signing a 10-year, $1.3B kit deal. So "beginning next season revenue from United's jersey sponsorships alone will bring the team" $210M in annual revenue. ManU also has 28 additional sponsors who "hawk everything from beer and noodles to tires and office equipment." Bulova Watches President Gregory Thumm, whose company is ManU's official timekeeping partner, said, "Manchester United's five times bigger than the New York Yankees as far as their global footprint. It's hard to fathom that as an American." ManU Group Managing Dir Richard Arnold said that the team "has 660 million fans -- half in Asia -- and a global TV audience of more than 3 billion." But both figures are "almost certainly inflated since it's unlikely one in about every 11 humans" is a ManU supporter. Aon VP/Global PR David Prosperi said, "This is far more effective than doing 120 different advertising campaigns, one for each country where we do business" (L.A. TIMES, 7/22).