Chevrolet Enters Soccer Market with Manchester United Deal

May 31, 2012

General Motors has signed up its Chevrolet brand as Manchester United’s Official Automotive Partner.

This is Chevrolet’s first global football sponsorship in the automaker’s 101-year history.

For the next five years, Chevy will attach itself to Manchester United’s fan base of an estimated 659 million people around the world with a growing presence in Asia and especially in China.

“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, during the announcement of the deal in Shanghai, China, on Thursday. “The Chevrolet family is proud to partner with Manchester United and is fully committed to putting these fans at the centre of everything we do.”

The British soccer club said that it expects the agreement with Chevrolet to help expand its fan base in the U.S.

“This is 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,” said Richard Arnold, Manchester United commercial director.

Chevrolet’s sponsorship of Manchester United comes only days after GM pulled its ads from Facebook and announcing its decision to drop out from the 2013 Super Bowl.

During the presentation in Shanghai, Chevrolet also announced a partnership with the One World Futbol Project, which provides youth in impoverished regions with a virtually indestructible football.

“Chevrolet’s support includes a pledge to donate 1.5 million One World Futbols over the next three years to organisations working with youth living in war-stricken zones, refugee camps, disaster areas and other disadvantaged communities,” said the automaker in a statement.