The largest cellular service provider of India, Bharti Airtel has inked multi-million dollar sponsorship deal with the Old Trafford, Greater Manchester based Manchester United Football Club, nicknamed as “The Red Devils”. The Indian telecom giant and the English football club have confirmed the 10m pound ($15m) sponsorship deal.
The telecom giant and the football club announced the five-year sponsorship deal on Friday in the presence of celebrated soccer starts, like Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez and Darren Fletcher of MUC. Airtel and ManUtd disclosed that there will be revenue sharing between them, but declined to disclose further details of the deal.
In a statement, the Deputy CEO, Bharti Airtel, Sanjay Kapoor stated that seeing the growing popularity of Football in the young population in India, the company is making a pioneering effort to deliver rich football content on the mobiles for the Airtel subscribers. The service will allow the the Airtel subscribers to watch and enjoy football matches across Europe.
The Chief Executive of Manchester United, David Gill stated that the football club feels proud to enter into partnership deal with Bharti Airtel. The partnership will deliver “the action and passion of Manchester United directly to the millions of fans of Manchester United across India and other Asian countries”.
Gill said that he knows that cricket is the top game of the moment in India, but he is delighted to know that football is most popular after cricket and its fan following is growing among the youth
The deal between Airtel and ManUtd will allow the Airtel subscribers in India, Sri Lanka and the Seychelles to view the Red Devils’ content including matches and interviews on their mobile phones. Airtel currently has about 100 million subscribers; in February 2009, the company claimed that it has more than 92 million subscribers. The football fans could also get an opportunity of training at one of the Manchester United Soccer Schools run at Hong Kong, Seattle, Toronto and Dubai.
Bharti Airtel is the first Indian company to ink sponsorship deal with one of the world’s richest football clubs Manchester United. Last year, Bharti Airtel revealed its plans of opening a football academy, with Rs 100 crore investment, to make India participate in the Football World Cup 2018. The Manchester United has great fan following in India; the club has estimated 12 millions fans in India, while the club has 330 million all over the world.