Manchester United will receive 40 million pounds ($66 million) from express delivery and freight firm DHL as English football’s first training kit sponsor.
The subsidiary of Germany’s Deutsche Post AG has signed a deal worth around 10 million pounds ($16.5 million) for each of the four years of the sponsorship, surpassing the value of most Premier League rivals’ main jersey deals.
“Manchester United has always been at the forefront of the game off the pitch as well as on it and this partnership is another example of that,” manager Alex Ferguson said.
United’s matchday kits are still sponsored by Chicago-based insurance broker Aon Corp. in a four-year deal worth around 80 million pounds ($130 million) for the record 19-time English champions.
The latest sponsorship announcement came a week after it emerged that United’s owning Glazer family (which also owns the National Football League’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers) have submitted an application for a partial flotation on the Singapore stock exchange to help cut the club’s debts of more than 500 million pounds ($825 million). The DHL deal is the latest sign of the strength of United’s global appeal, with commercial revenue now exceeding 100 million pounds ($165 million) each year for the American-owned club. “This deal breaks new ground in the English game,” United chief executive David Gill said. “We are delighted that DHL has extended its partnership with the club to include the training kit.” DHL, which has been United’s official logistics partner for a year, will only appear on training kit worn by United players ahead of domestic fixtures.
The club has been steadily raising commercial revenue by negotiating regional sponsorship agreements. In addition to the DHL sponsorship, United have a three-year deal with Vietnamese mobile telecommunications company Beeline to distribute video and news content on phones in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.