branding together

Manchester United and Chevrolet Tease New Uniforms

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 2, 2014 04:03 PM

While the World Cup continues on through its dramatic knockout stages in Brazil, the rest of the football world goes about its offseason business, such as deciding what players to sign and trade.

For Manchester United, the third most valuable soccer team worldwide according to Forbes, it also includes the introduction of a new Chevrolet-sponsored uniform.

While team and its GM-owned sponsor aren't ready quite yet to show off what the new jerseys will look like beyond a peek at the Nike logo and club crest, they're building up expectations with a teaser video to remind fans that no matter what brand name is on the front of the shirt.

As star striker Wayne Rooney tells the camera, "This shirt belongs to you. Always has. Always will."Continue reading...

sporting brands

Manchester United Threatens Nike Deal with High-Priced Demands

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 23, 2014 03:47 PM

The season may be over on the field for Manchester United, but it apparently has only just begun for the team's board members.

Coming off its worst season in decades after losing famed coach Sir Alex Ferguson last year, the team recently booted Ferguson's replacement in hopes that Louis Van Gaal can put the team back on track next season. More concerning though than its losing record is its losses on the bottom line. And now one of the team's biggest money-makers—kit supply—is up for grabs. 

The world's most popular soccer team has been wearing Nike gear for more than 10 years thanks to the $510 million that the Portland, Ore.-based company paid out for a 13-year contract to outfit the team. While Nike would like to continue to lucrative partnership, ManU is reportedly looking for even more money once the deal wraps up after next season.Continue reading...

end of an era

Manchester United Will Lose Famed Manager Sir Alex Ferguson at End of Season

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 8, 2013 05:36 PM

Manchester United has had a steady hand running the team for the last 26 years as it built itself into what Forbes has called the world’s most valuable sports brand, worth billions of dollars. Now, Sir Alex Ferguson, who managed the team to 13 league championships and at least double that in other championship cups, is calling it quits at the end of this season and going off to get hip surgery. 

"Manchester United has been transformed as a football club under the management of Sir Alex Ferguson," Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, told CNN.

The club’s popularity has allowed it to rake in sponsorship dollars, as it recently signed deals with two financial service providers in Denmark and Vietnam, a social gaming company in Japan, Aon to sponsor its practice gear, and a slew of others.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Aon Inks New Deal with Manchester United for Practice Sponsorship

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 8, 2013 05:12 PM

Professional sports teams have such cachet with a certain block of the public that pretty much anything they do can find sponsorship. Aon and Manchester United just signed a sponsorship deal that has the British multinational risk-management, insurance and consulting company putting its name on the team’s training facilities for the next eight years.

Along with that, Aon’s name will also grace the training shirts of the ManU players and be attached to any of the team’s pre-season tours during the next eight seasons, such as “Tour 2013 presented by Aon in Asia Pacific.” If that weren’t enough, Manchester United’s business network will also use Aon for its “talent development, health, risk management, retirement and data & analytics.”Continue reading...

sporting brands

ManU in the Money: Manchester United Flexing Its Financial Muscle

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 15, 2012 01:04 PM

It's nice to be the world's most popular soccer team.

Footie powerhouse Manchester United, which is currently undefeated and in first place in both the English Premier League and its Champions League grouping, is starting to really flex its financial muscle to score a premium for its brand. ManU listed itself on the New York Stock Exchange back in August and it has been extremely busy in its first quarter. The team’s massive debt load dropped 18% down to $570 million, the AP reports. ManU also had a big influx of cash recently from an agreement with Comcast to broadcast all of its games in the United States over the next three seasons for $250 million, which is much better than the deal worth $80 million for three years that the team just had with Fox, which reaches fewer American homes than Comcast.

The club signed 10 new sponsorships during the quarter, according to One new deal was with the largest telecommunications company in Azerbaijan, Bakcell, which will allow more than 2.5 million consumers to watch ManchesterUnitedTV there during the next three years. And if you’re looking for the team’s official soft drink in Japan, look no further than fruit and veggie drink specialist Kagome. The most notable deal, though, was a pre-IPO arrangement with General Motors, which agreed to pay $559 million to have Chevrolet’s logo grace the front of the team’s jerseys.

The team also just broke up with a sponsor, DHL, which had agreed to pay $65 million to place its logo on the team’s practice jerseys. Now its management team is eager to wring more cash from uniform supplier (home and away) Nike, which gets to push its swoosh next to jersey sponsor AON as part of a 13-year, £303m ($480.3 million) contract with ManU that ends in 2015. That’s a measly $36.9 million a year!Continue reading...


Spotlight Turns to Manchester United IPO and GM Lawsuits Post-Ewanick

Posted by Dale Buss on August 8, 2012 12:59 PM

General Motors is scrutinized daily by thousands of automotive and business journalists as well as investors and U.S.-government policymakers and a whole host of other people, and yet there remains a mystery about exactly why GM CMO Joel Ewanick became persona non grata so abruptly on July 29th. The latest disclosures, via Bloomberg News, paint a picture of a relationship betweeen Ewanick and his CEO that unraveled in part over lack of decorum.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Man United Scores a Brand Victory

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 29, 2011 05:29 PM

The fans of the English Premier League’s Manchester United have had plenty to crow about over the years: a club World Cup title in 2008, the most Premier League division titles (19) and most Premier League titles (12), among many other awards.

Its rabid fan base, some of which were frighteningly captured in Bill Buford’s excellent Among the Thugs, now has something else to chant about: Man U., which already calls itself "the world's most popular football team," has been declared the most valuable sports team in the world, according to Marketing Week in the UK.

“The Premier League club’s brand value has increased 109% from 2005 to £412 million ($639 million) in 2011,” according to a Brand Finance report, Marketing Week reports. The key has been that the Glazer family, who own the team, have brought marketing knowledge to the team from their work as owners of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In the last year, the site notes, the team “reported a record annual operating profit of £110.9 milion ($172 million) this year.” One of those strategies has been signing on with global partners such as Aon, Nike, Audi, Turkish Airlines, and DHL. Those partners pay a collective £110 million ($170.7 million) annually to be associated with Man U., the site notes.

The club has also increased its revenue through domestic and international media deals as well, Marketing Week reports. Some think the Glazers have actually damaged the club, though.

The Manchester United Supporters Trust, a lobbying group that opposes the Glazers’ ownership of the club, “says it is the team’s success on the pitch and the commercial department’s achievements in securing deals, rather than the Glazers that have built its brand value,” according to the site.

However they did it, the Glazers are now sitting on top of a very valuable commodity, one that is truly a global brand.

brand news

In the News: Chrysler, Barbie, Spotify and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 8, 2011 09:00 AM

In the News

Aon plans to spend much of its big cash hoard to buy back shares.

Audi takes aim at toppling BMW.

Bank of America says home-loan business is recovering.

Barbie hits $3 billion in global annual sales as brand shutters China flagship.

Boeing gets a boost from China orders.

Cap’n Crunch gains guerrilla-fueled “success” in social media.

CBS, Warner Bros. and Charlie Sheen are at war, as Sheen apparently plans to sue post-firing.Continue reading...

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