Man Utd and Premier League announce new sponsorship deals
Manchester United unveiled two new sponsorships in China today as the Premier League agreed a new deal with Carlsberg.
Chinese soft drinks manufacturer Wahaha and one of China's most prominent banking groups, China Construction Bank, have signed three-year tie ups with the Old Trafford outfit.
The Premier League is available to television viewers in around 720 million homes around the world, and interest is high in Asia.
English clubs have cultivated their far-flung fan bases by going on overseas tours in pre-season. United played in Shanghai last August and claim to have more than 100 million followers in China.
As part of the sponsorship deal, China Construction Bank will produce a Manchester United branded credit card for the club's Chinese fans.
"Through our relationship with CCB we hope not only to give fans an excellent product, but also bring them closer to the club they so passionately support," said United Commercial Director Richard Arnold.
Danish brewer Carlsberg, which has sponsored European soccer in various ways for 40 years, cited the Premier League's international appeal as the reason for entering a three-year partnership.
The deal is believed to be worth £8m (€9.6m) a year and will allow Carlsberg to call itself the official beer of the Premier League.
The League had an similar agreement with U.S. brewer Budweiser from 2007-10 but does not have a current partnership in the sector.
"The Premier League is quite an iconic league now across the world," said Carlsberg spokesman Ben Morton, saying its strength in Asia was a particular attraction.
United, listed on the New York Stock Exchange last August, generated more revenue from commercial activities than they did from broadcast contracts and match day sales in their last financial year.
Premier League is currently putting the finishing touches to its new international television contracts to take effect from the start of next season.
Television deals overall could yield as much as £5bn (€6bn) over the next three years. The domestic deal alone is worth £3bn (€3.7bn), a 70 percent increase on the agreement that expires at the end of this season.