Manchester United is the world’s most popular football club, with an estimated 659 million fans and followers, of which I am one, and was recently named by Forbes magazine as the most valuable sports club in the world.
Founded in 1878, the Club has won a record 19 English league championships to add to its record 11 English FA Cups, 3 European Cups, 1 European Cup Winners’ Cup, 1 FIFA Club World Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup and 4 English League Cups. Its Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, is the most successful manager in British history. Off the field, the Club enjoys similar success with record turnover for a British club and the highest operating profit levels in world football.
Meet Chevrolet; founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chev is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality.
What do they have in common? Well, probably not much really other than that they are two giants of their respective realms. However as happens in sport, a team must have an official sponsor for everything – and I mean everything.
Since Audi’s run as United’s automotive partner came to an end recently, at the end of last month the Red Devil’s and Chevrolet announced they are entering into a five-year partnership agreement.
Chevrolet has pledged that fans will be at the heart of its sponsorship with a constant focus on bringing the club supporters and football fans around the world closer to the game than ever before.
Further details about the global partnership will be announced at a celebration event at the Shanghai Science & Technology Museum that will include representatives from Chevrolet, Manchester United and other special guests.
“Manchester United has some of the most passionate supporters of any sporting club in the world,” said General Motors Global Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick. “The Chevrolet family is proud to partner with Manchester United and is fully committed to putting these fans at the center of everything we do.”
Manchester United CEO, David Gill was diplomatic in his comments, saying, “Although part of two very different industries, Chevrolet and Manchester United share many of the same values. Like the Club, it is steeped in history having recently celebrated its centenary and it has also grown to be a global brand, selling cars in more than 140 countries. Above all, it too strives to be the best in its field and I am delighted to welcome Chevrolet as our Official Automotive Partner.”
Whereas Richard Arnold, Manchester United commercial director, made the clubs intention to expand Anglo-American relations more clear with his comments: “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. This is also the first time we have teamed up with a U.S. 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.”
I just hope we don’t see United’s greats pottering around town in something like a Spark. Go on Chevy, give ‘em the Corvette.