Manchester United definitely had a bad season, but that failed to deter General Motors' confidence in the $559-million (EUR415 million) multi-year sponsorship agreement with the world famous football club. In fact, the Chevrolet logo, was seen attached on the jerseys of Man U’s players' for the first time last week, when the English team won over the Los Angeles Galaxy 7-0 in a friendly match at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
Chevrolet is a global volume for GM, and Man U missing on major tournaments in Europe this year and failure to grab any championship last year meant less TV exposure time not just for the club, but also for the brand. In that case, it was only logical for some sponsorship experts to conclude that GM has overpaid Man U, especially that the carmaker will halt Europe sales of the Chevrolet brand by end of next year.
However, GM executives have been reiterating that the real benefit of the agreement is that it would help connect the brand with Man U massive fan base in Asia, when GM is seeing a good sales potential for Chevrolet. But, many still believes GM did not make the wrong, since German company Adidas recently inked a 10-year, EUR1 billion sportswear agreement with Man U.
Chevrolet’s agreement with Man U does not end with having its logo placed on shirts or jerseys. The brand is also developing online relationships with its around 659 million fans around the world, especially in China.
To achieve this task, Chevrolet has set up a dedicated Web site and is planning to launch a number of digital applications for wireless devices. Tim Mahoney, chief marketing officer for Global Chevrolet, told Reuters that they are buying into the brand," referring to Man U.
“We're in it for the long haul." GM has created a video for the launch of the Man U jersey, which can be availed online at ChevroletFC.com. The video shows Man U fans wearing the club's different jerseys over the years, with the latest version – the one with Chevrolet logo – worn by star striker Wayne Rooney. It has so far received over 3.5 million views.