An American company partnering with Manchester United? Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the influence of an American-based ownership, could it?
Manchester United have made no secret of their desire to crack the American market, and establish themselves as the leading football brand stateside. The club have decided not to renew their partnership with Audi after the contract recently expired. Instead they have decided to partner with US-based Chevrolet, part of General Motors, on a five-year deal that’s expected to make millions.
No official figure has been released yet, but it’s thought it will completely eclipse the financial incentives offered during the Audi partnership. "With 659 million United fans and followers around the world, the commitment that Chevrolet is making to football and its plans to bring these fans closer to our club is very exciting for us," comments Manchester United commercial director, Richard Arnold.
"This is also the first time we have teamed up with a US automotive partner and with the growing popularity of the club and English football in America, we are hoping the relationship will allow us to further expand our fan base in the country."
Does Manchester United really need more fans, though? As Richard says, the club claims to have 659 million people tuning in to watch them every week worldwide! The club is a phenomenon in the Asian market, but to get true global dominance, they’ll have to do what only a select few British brands have managed to do throughout the years – conquer America.
America’s love affair with football continues to grow, albeit at a very slow pace. GM though seem to be licking their lips at the prospect of attaching the Chevrolet name to one of the biggest performing brands in the growing Asian auto market. Will it convince them to buy a new Chevrolet, though?
Paul Edwards, General Motors’ executive director of global marketing strategy says of the deal: "If our aspirations are to build global icon status for Chevrolet ... soccer far and away is the world's biggest sport. Manchester United stands head and shoulders above the other teams in terms of scale, brand value and their legacy in the sport."
Images courtesy of MarketingBlog, Tri-City Herald.
Manchester United have always managed to give 110 per cent when forming positive brand relationships and producing results on the pitch. It is a game of two halves, after all. It’s a funny old game, and... er... points win prizes? If you have any football clichés you’d like to share with us, or want to comment on the United/Chevrolet partnership, tweet our @Askaprice account or like our Facebook page.