Chevrolet has officially kicked off its brand association with Manchester United in India last Saturday, November 18th, by allowing Indian football fans to meet and greet Dwight Yorke, the team’s ex-striker, and also check out the Barclays Premier League Trophy in person. The event was part of the Manchester United Trophy Tour in the country.
For the 2014-2014 season, The Bow Tie brand becomes the shirt sponsor of Man U — the most popular football (soccer) team in the world. The high-profile placement on Man U’s jerseys coincides with The General’s decision to remove the Chevrolet brand from mainstream vehicle segments in Europe, leaving the market to GM’s Opel-Vauxhall brands. Despite the move, Chevrolet will remain a sponsor of Manchester United, even though the brand’s sponsorship of the team was mostly intended to drum up business for itself in Europe.
Chevy also mentions that, “as part of its deep commitment to the game of football in India”, it’s in the process of donating 20,000 nearly-indestructible footballs (soccer balls) to children who cannot buy, afford or maintain a football across various locations in the country. On a global level, Chevrolet plans to donate 1.5 million One World footballs over the next three years to children living under different circumstances in impoverished areas, conflict zones, and refugee camps.
The GM Authority Take
Giving away thousands of the indestructible footballs is a great charitable activity that we applaud no matter the brand, automaker, or company that’s behind the initiative. What we’re unsure about is Chevy’s association with Manchester United.
For starters, the brand’s withdrawal from Europe’s mainstream automotive vehicle segments just as its sponsorship with the popular team is reaching a pinnacle seems poorly planned. More specifically, though, we wonder what that event with Dwight Yorke was all about. Did anyone attending the event even care that Chevy is involved? Did anyone look at Chevrolet vehicles in India? Because if anything, Chevy needs all the help it can get in the country.