GM signs deal to sponsor Manchester United

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney celebrates after scoring a goal against Sunderland in Sunderland, England on May 13, 2012. This week, GM announced it's plans to sponsor Manchester United.

David Brancaccio: General Motors recently announced it was scrapping its ad on the Super Bowl because they weren’t deemed worth the money. Well now the automaker seems to embracing that other football. Today GM and its Chevrolet brand signed a big sponsorship deal with the popular English soccer team, Manchester United.

Christopher Werth has more from London.


Christopher Werth: For the next five years, Chevrolet's iconic bowtie insignia will be splayed all over Manchester United’s stadium, signs, and as a backdrop during player interviews.

Alan Switzer follows sports financing at Deloitte. He says it’s not just European fans that Chevy and GM want to appeal to.

Alan Switzer: Manchester United claim to have over 600 million fans worldwide. So clearly General Motors are looking to tap into that huge fan base.

The team is wildly popular in Asia, a market where GM is growing fast, and soccer fans tend to be loyal to companies that advertise with their favorite teams.

Alex Fynn advises soccer teams on media and advertising. He says similar deals have helped boost GM’s European division, Opel, when it sponsored a popular German soccer team.

Alex Fynn: So to be associated with such an important soccer team is a halo effect that many advertisers seek.

For its part, Manchester United hopes the deal will help it attract more fans in the United States.

In London, I’m Christopher Werth for Marketplace.

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