General Motors to partner with Manchester United image

U.S. based automaker General Motors is preparing to make a major marketing announcement between its Chevrolet brand and Manchester Ltd.’s soccer team, two people briefed on the plans said.

Most probably, the announcement will be about a sponsorship deal, but a GM spokesperson declined to provide more details. In addition, at this moment it’s unclear how much the sponsorship will cost GM.

The sponsorship deal could help Chevrolet, which sold 4.76 million vehicles globally last year — reach new customers around the world as it works to increase sales in emerging markets and across Europe.
Forbes recently ranked Manchester as soccer’s most valuable club.

In addition, market research company Kantar said Manchester United’s 659 million followers makes it the world’s “most popular club”.

Kantar also found that soccer remains the world’s most popular sport, with 1.6 billion followers globally, reinforcing the results of a recent FIFA survey which produced a similar figure.

“Manchester United is built on a tradition of iconic players, iconic teams and iconic achievements – Beckham, Busby, Benfica ’68,” stated Richard Arnold, Commercial Director, Manchester United.

“Our followers have doubled in five years,” Manchester United’s commercial director Richard Arnold told reporters in London yesterday. “It’s important to the club, not only for commercial partnerships: It gives us a road map to understand exactly what’s going on.”

GM announced the decision to drop Facebook paid ads last week in what was the first highly visible crack in Facebook’s strategy and illustrated doubts about its perceived advantage over traditional media.

GM, which ranks behind Procter & Gamble Co and AT&T Inc in U.S. advertising spending, spent $1.1 billion on U.S. ads last year, according to ad-tracking firm Kantar Media. It spent about $271 million on online display and search ads excluding Facebook advertising.