Manchester United’s new sponsorship deal with General Motors’ Chevrolet brand will be worth almost $80m a year or $559 million through 2021.
As part of a deal to become the soccer team’s exclusive jersey sponsor starting in the 2014 season, GM will pay about $18.6 million in fees for each of the seasons this year and next, according to a filing yesterday. The US based automaker will pay $70 million in 2014, with the payments rising 2.1 percent each following season, the soccer club’s filing said.
“This is a fantastic, long-term deal for the Club,” Richard Arnold, Manchester United’s commercial director, said in a statement. “We have been partners with Chevrolet for only six weeks, but already they have produced some fantastic ideas that will benefit both the partnership and our 659 million followers around the world.”
“The increase between Aon and Chevrolet I’d say is unprecedented,” said Jim Andrews of IEG, the sponsorship consultancy, noting that the deal smashed the previous record set by the Qatar Foundation’s sponsorship of Barcelona, worth $39.1m a year.
The news comes against the backdrop of the resignation of Joel Ewanick, who was chief marketing officer of Chevrolet’s parent firm, General Motors, and had been involved in negotiating the deal with United.
A General Motors spokesman said Ewanick “failed to meet the expectations the company has for its employees.”
But the Journal reported that GM told Ewanick “he was being removed for failing to properly vet the financial details of a European soccer sponsorship deal (MU) that he struck recently,” according to people it said were familiar with the matter.
Ewanick was only at GM for two years, and just became chief marketing officer in December 2010. His main task was to create a new image for the car company that would transcend its reputation as Government Motors, gained because of the federal bailout the company took in 2009.