Du signs for Manchester United in content deal
Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 12-10-2011
Manchester United, reigning Premier League champions, have signed a two year content partnership contract with UAE telecommunications operator Du for an undisclosed sum.
"We are proud and excited by this partnership deal with the legendary Manchester United Football Club, which allows us to bring a wealth of MU-related content to the dedicated fans amongst our five million customers," said Farid Faraidooni, chief commercial officer, du.
"Manchester United is an icon and our sponsorship of the club will open up a world of exclusive privileges to our customers, allowing them to experience more than has ever been possible."
As part of the sponsorship agreement, exclusive United-related material will be available to Du's mobile, TV and internet customers, and will include video clips, images, match updates, team news, and games.
The deal was announced at Dubai's GITEX consumer electronics fair in the presence of former striker Andy Cole, part of Manchester United's 1999 treble winning team, and currently a coach at the club.
"In recent years, the club has grown very close links with the Middle East and we know from our visits there that the fans are as loyal and as passionate about the team as anyone," said Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United.
"To be able to address them directly is incredible and the network of deals that we are building up means that more and more fans can feel involved with what happens at United," he added.
Of Manchester United's reputed 300 million strong global fan base, 56 million are reported to live in the Middle East.
"We believe Manchester United is the leading brand when it comes to harbouring a winning competitive spirit, and we are pleased to align with such a like-minded entity," concluded Faraidooni.
The deal sees the UAE boost its already strong sponsorship ties with the English Premier League. Etihad and Etisalat both sponsor United's rival Manchester City, while Emirates has a long standing relationship with London club Arsenal.