GM Signs Manchester United Deal
GM formally announced the partnership last month, saying that it’s part of the plan to make Chevy an iconic brand across the globe.
The company wouldn’t say how much the deal will cost, and Paul Edwards, its executive director for global marketing strategy, said it has nothing to do with GM’s decisions earlier this month to scrap a $10m advertising spend on Facebook and to pull out of next February’s Super Bowl.
Manchester United claims to be the most popular sports franchise in the world. According to research done for the team, its fan base has doubled in the past five years to 659 million people, nearly one tenth of the world’s population. Half of the fans are in Asia, especially in China, where GM sells more cars than in any other country.
While the deal should help Chevy globally, GM will keep strong ad campaigns and sponsorships in each of its regions, including sporting events and concerts in the US, Edwards said.
“That doesn’t mean we’re walking away from Major League Baseball here in the US, or the National Football League,” he said. “We’re still deeply engaged with those sports for the US audience.”
GM, he said, is still working out its 2012-2013 advertising campaigns, but it will have a heavy presence in the U.S. during the upcoming Summer Olympics being held in London.
Manchester United got its fan base data from the Kantar research firm, which surveyed 54,000 people in 39 countries. A similar survey in 2007 indicated that Manchester United had 333 million fans, based on 27,000 responses.