LONDON, England, January 15 – Manchester United have added two new Chinese sponsors to their lengthy list of global commercial backers in a bid to boost their already high profile in the country, the club announced Tuesday.
China has long been seen as a huge growth area for the Premier League in general and United in particular.
Now the Old Trafford club, who have been playing friendlies in China for more than 30 years, have signed “country specific” three-year deals with both China Construction Bank and Chinese soft drinks manufacturer Wahaha.
“Manchester United has a long association with China, visiting 11 times to play friendly matches,” said United commercial director Richard Arnold.
“The first time was in 1975 and the most recent visit in August last year.
“Sir Alex (Ferguson, the United manager) and his team were overwhelmed with the welcome they received from fans who packed the stadium in Shanghai.”
United posted record commercial income of £117.6million last year and have already announced a mammoth £357million seven-year shirt sponsorship deal with US car manufacturer Chevrolet that starts in 2014.