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Brandi Chastain

SOCCER BUSINESS

June 22, 2012
SOCCER BUSINESS
Chevy looks to boost global brand with Man United
By Charles Cuttone
Executive Editor

Chevrolet is hoping to build its brand globally by linking with Manchester United
Chevrolet is hoping to build its brand globally by linking with Manchester United
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The old commercial jingle “baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet,” may need to be changed to “football, crumpets and Chevrolet,” now that the General Motors brand has signed a global partnership with Manchester United.

The new deal with the iconic English club will tie Chevrolet into Manchester United at Old Trafford and well beyond the English borders.

"We really didn’t have a big flagship entry in football ," said John McFarland, Chevrolet's Senior Manager, Global Strategic Marketing. "It just felt like the right time. The brand is really taking a global approach in the way we do business. To be absent in football…it just seemed like a really great opportunity for us to get involved in football in a meaningful way.

"We look at Manchester United, although it's an English team, they have 34 million fans in the Americas. It’s a big fan base that we can leverage. In the U.S. alone, it's about 10 million."

The first place Chevrolet and the Man U partnership will be evident is in the team's upcoming tour, specifically the stops in South Africa and China. Chevrolet will be title sponsor of the stop in Shanghai, with the Reds facing Shanghai Shenhua, the team that recently signed former Chelsea star Didier Drogba, as well as another yet-to-be announced game.

McFarland, who joined GM from Proctor and Gamble, thinks the Man U sponsorship will resonate with U.S. soccer fans even if they are not Man U supporters.

"We also think that, even here in the U.S., if Manchester United isn't the team that people root for, that our approach and our entry into the sport of soccer, showing that we are supporting it, will really resonate with fans here in the States."

Chevy already has a long-running program in the U.S., with dealers supporting local youth soccer organizations. McFarland says the plan is to expand on that and integrate the Man U partnership into it.

Chevy also is a founding sponsor of the One World Football program, a charitable organization whose aim is to donate 1.5 million indestructible soccer balls to underprivileged youth around the world.

Chevrolet will have the usual presence at Man U’s home ground, Old Trafford, with signage and perimeter boards, and the company is still working out other details to be part of the game-day experience.

"We're still developing the final plans, but we will have a pretty steady presence at Old Trafford," said McFarland. "At Old Trafford specifically, it's an area that we want to be very conscious about the way we come to market there. We want to let the fans know that we are approaching this with the full respect of the history of the team and what Old Trafford means."

Teams and partners
The New York Red Bulls have entered into a partnership that makes JAG Physical Therapy the Official Physical Therapy Partner of the New York Red Bulls Academy and Training Programs. JAG Physical Therapy President, John Gallucci, Jr. is the Red Bulls former athletic trainer.


T4Soccer has a new partnership with the Boston Breakers of the WPSL Elite league. The Breakers will use the T4 web-based score analysis system to monitor the ongoing physical performance of its players. T4 also will conduct performance assessment testing challenges open to youth players at specific Boston Breakers home games, and the Breakers will add T4 to its community training program initiatives, offering this sports science initiative to its club and high school affiliates.


MetroPCS Communications, Inc., has become the Official and Exclusive Wireless Provider of the LA Galaxy. The multi-faceted partnership will focus on community involvement through a series of promotions and grassroots initiatives. MetroPCS will also serve as the title sponsor for the LA Galaxy home game against the Colorado Rapids on Sunday, September 16, when the club celebrates their Hispanic Heritage Night. MetroPCS will also serve as the presenting sponsor of the MetroPCS Family Fun Zone at SoccerFest for all Galaxy regular season home games.

Korrio's integrated sports automation platform for youth soccer has been selected by D.C. United as the club’s automation platform provider of choice for all of its Academy and camp programs. This is the Seattle-based tech company’s first signing of a Major League Soccer franchise. Korrio’s Playflow will manage internal aspects of registration, roster creation, communications, scheduling and social media for athletes in D.C. United’s Academy and Pre-Academy programs, as well as for the club’s camp program.

Hall of Fame Partners
GK1 Sports, co-owned by former U.S. National Team goalkeeper Tony Meola, has partnered with SoccerPlus, which is operated by former U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Tony DiCicco. As part of the union, SoccerPlus staff and campers will be wearing GK1 Sports gloves and jerseys at each of the upcoming programs they host. Both Meola and DiCicco were inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in May




   
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