Thursday, April 24, 2014

Manchester United look to U.S. market

Published:

Photo: footballpictures.net

Manchester United emerged English champions for the 20th time.

Manchester United are expanding their marketing activities in the United States to cash in on the interest generated by a new deal for NBC to screen English Premier League soccer, according to the club’s chief executive.

United, owned by the American Glazer family, have proved adept at selling sponsorship deals both globally and nationally, to help fund a team that won a record 20th English league title on Monday night.

The club is looking at adding a sales office on the east coast of the United States later this year, to complement existing operations in London and Hong Kong.

“NBC has the Premier League rights for next season. We should be able to feed off the back of that enhanced and wider coverage,” David Gill told Reuters in a telephone interview.

NBC has paid a reported $250 million to wrest the rights to Premier League games from Fox and ESPN for the next three years.

Interest in soccer is growing in the United States where it has traditionally struggled for media exposure in the face of competition from baseball, basketball and American football.

United, who claim to have more than 650 million followers worldwide, have already attracted sponsorship from General Motors.

The team will have GM’s Chevrolet brand on their red shirts from 2014 in a seven-year deal worth $559 million – the most lucrative of such sponsorship in soccer.

United, listed on the New York Stock Exchange last August, are also negotiating a new agreement with their Kit supplier, Nike.

(Reuters/NAN)

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