Manchester United and their Sponsors

The making of the $3BILLION super club: How Manchester United’s bank balance is being boosted by beer, wine and crisps… and that’s just for starters!



These two distant products (Potato crisps and Smirnoff vodka) may appear to have little to do with football but they can wear the same badge as Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Co because of United’s exhaustive quest for maximum commercial revenue.

That figure is now approaching an astonishing £130million a year and will only continue to rise. No wonder United recently became the first sports team in the world to be valued at $3BILLION.

There are no fewer than 32 companies listed as sponsors of the club on their official website and this does not even include three – somewhat peculiar – deals announced this month.

First there was the tie-up with Indonesian tyre manufacturer Multistrada on January 7, then came Wahaha, a Chinese soft drinks producer, a week later, and on January 18 we heard Japanese paint manufacturer Kansai had become the club’s first ‘paint partner’. Painting the town red, perhaps

With each press release, Richard Arnold, United’s commercial director, trumpets how the club and sponsor share ‘core values’ and ‘similar principles’ – but in truth extra income is the main draw. It is more than a stretch to claim United and Malaysian-based Mamee, the club’s ‘official noodles partner for Aisa, Oceania, and the Middle East’ are natural bedfellows.

These are the types of deals staff in United’s recently-opened office in Hong Kong are striving to sign; brands specific to regions. They might be obscure to English eyes but are well-known in the areas such deals dictate towards.

At the start of that season it will be worth £44m a year, (Chevrolet – Shirt sponsors) increasing by 2.1 per cent annually to 2021 – totalling an incredible £357m. These numbers do not make it into United’s current take home from sponsorship but the £12m Chevrolet has paid to have its logo on the Old Trafford dugout seats this season does.

As do United’s other big deals. Aon pay United £20m a year to sponsor the shirt currently, while DHL have since 2010 forked out £10m a year to feature on the team’s training kit. That seemed a remarkable agreement at the time, but United have bought out the postal firm’s remaining contract as they believe they can generate greater income elsewhere.

It costs Nike around £25.4m to supply United’s kit each season but talks will begin next month over a new deal which should dwarf that amount.

Betting firm Bwin pay £2.4m to have outlets at Old Trafford, among other things, Singha handover £2m to have around 20,000 bottles sold at the ground each game, and Thomas Cook give £1.3m to provide United player’s travel and offer packages to fans.

Fans may feel United’s name is cheapened by associating so many sponsors and we can only wonder what Sir Matt Busby would make of it all. But given the Glazer family takeover loaded the club with debt – £400m at last count in November – many financial experts now admire their relentless pursuit of commercial opportunities.

David Chattaway, valuation director at Brand Finance, which worked with United on a consultancy basis a few years ago, said there was plenty of mileage left in sponsorship deals and suggested Australia and USA would be the next markets targeted.

‘There’s talk about dilution, “How far can it go?” I don’t think they’re there yet,’ he told Sportsmail. ‘Hong Kong staff take a proactive approach, targeting who has an interest in Manchester United, and calling them. It’s like they’ve got a huge matrix and they’re filling up the boxes.

‘These little deals show the commercial acumen at Manchester United. It’s become an industry joke – a “day a deal” – but this club is motoring ahead. Brands want to be associated with them. It wouldn’t surprise me if each quarter we saw three or four news deals.

‘There probably is a tipping point. When you’re clicking through five pages of sponsors on their website the brands may start to think this is too much.

‘Juventus are at the other end. They believe there is more value in fewer partnerships. But Real Madrid and Barcelona are chasing Manchester United at the moment thinking that’s where the
money is.

‘With financial fair play, these clubs need to balance their books, they need additional revenue to pay their bills. The commercial opportunity is probably the easiest to tap into.

‘You’d be naive trying to pull together some rationale that United really want to have a soft drink partner in China. No, I don’t think it is that. It’s purely a commercial transaction.

Read the full article on The Daily Mail 

Full list of Manchester United Sponsors

AON Principal Sponsor of Manchester United

DHL Official Logistics Partner of Manchester United

BWIN Official Online Gaming and Betting Partner of Manchester United

CASILLERO DEL DIABLO Official wine partner of Manchester United.

HUBLOT Official Timekeeper of Manchester United

SMIRNOFF Official Responsible Drinking Partner of Manchester United

TOSHIBA MEDICAL SYSTEMS Official Medical Systems Partner of Manchester United

STC Official Integrated Telecommunications Partner of Manchester United for Saudi Arabia

KANSAI PAINT Official Paint Partner of Manchester United

NIKE Nike’s mission has always been to provide a competitive edge…

CHEVROLET Official Automotive Partner of Manchester United

SINGHA Official Beer of Manchester United.

THOMAS COOK Thomas Cook the Official Travel Partner of Manchester United.

TURKISH AIRLINES Official Airline Partner

EPSON Official Office Equipment Partner of Manchester United

MISTER POTATO Official Savoury Snack Partner of Manchester United

YANMAR Official Global Partner Moving Manchester United

PCCW Official Integrated Telecommunications Partner and Official Broadcast Partner of Man Utd in Hong Kong

TM Official Integrated Telecommunications partner of Manchester United in Malaysia

VIVA Official Integrated Telecommunications partner of Manchester United in Bahrain

TURK TELEKOM Official Integrated Telecommunications partner of Manchester United in Turkey

A.P. HONDA Official Motorcycle Partner of Manchester United in Thailand

AIRTEL AFRICA Official Telecoms Partner in Burkina Faso, Chad, DR Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Congo Brazzaville

BEELINE Official Telecommunications Partner of Manchester United in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos

BAKCELL Official Telecommunications and Broadcast Partner of Manchester United for Azerbaijan

KAGOME Official Juice Drink Partner of Manchester United for Japan

GLOBACOM Official Integrated Telecommunications Partner of Manchester United for Nigeria, Ghana, Republic of Benin

VIVA KUWAIT Official Integrated Telecommunications partner of Manchester United in Kuwait

MTN Official Integrated Telecoms Partner of Manchester United for South Africa / Zambia / Rwanda / Uganda / Swaziland / Botswana.

AIRTEL Official Telecommunications Partner of Manchester United in India/Sri Lanka/Seychelles/Bangladesh.

ZONG Official Telecommunications partner of Manchester United in Pakistan

GLOBUL Official Telecommunications partner of Manchester United in Bulgaria

MAMEE Official Noodles Partner Of Manchester United for Asia, Oceania and Middle East

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