Manchester United have surpassed Barcelona’s £125m world record shirt sponsorship deal with the Qatar Foundation by striking a seven-year shirt agreement with Chevrolet worth in excess of £25m-a-year.
United, whose current £20m-a-year shirt deal with the American insurance giant Aon still has two seasons left to run, will begin their partnership with Chevrolet at the start of the 2014-15 campaign.
United’s deal takes the club to the top of the shirt deal table ahead of Barcelona and Bayern Munich, whose agreement with Deutsche Telekom is worth an annual £23m.
Exact figures have not been disclosed by United or Chevrolet, but The Telegraph is reporting that the deal is worth in the region of £28m-a-year and that the deal was accelerated by General Motors following the impact of United’s visit to China last week for the Chevrolet Cup tie against Shanghai Shenhua in Shanghai.
United Commercial Director, Richard Arnold, said:
“This is a fantastic, long-term deal for the club.
“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.
“They are a key partner on our current tour and I know they have enjoyed experiencing the buzz generated by our fanatical support and the sell-out crowds in South Africa, China, and Europe.”
When Aon became United’s shirt sponsor they paid almost half of the £80m sponsorship fee to United in their first year of their agreement. If United can get a similar payment from Chevrolet (say £100m) that will ease the financial pressure on the club after two aborted IPO’s in Asia and New York.