Chevrolet’s huge seven-year, $559 million shirt sponsorship deal with Manchester United has boosted the total combined shirt sponsorship income of the 20 teams in the Barclays Premiere soccer league to a record breaking £191.35 million ($324,060,792 USD) for the 2014-15 season.
Chevy’s deal with Manchester United puts the automaker’s logo front and center on the popular team’s shirts. The deal has been mildly controversial due to the huge amount of money spent and Chevrolet no longer operating in Europe, leading some to say the shirt sponsorship is a waste. Chevy argues that the worldwide exposure gained from sponsoring a team as internationally popular as Manchester United is worth it, no matter if they are operating in the team’s home country or not.
The deal, which works out to £47 million-per-year, is the largest in all of the Premiere League. The next closest is Arsenal FC’s, which cost sponsor Fly Emirates £30 million per year. Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC have £20 million deals with Standard Chartered Bank and Etihad Airways, followed by Chelsea with a £18 million deal with Samsung and Tottenham with a £16 million deal with AIA. Chevrolet also paid £27 million more than Manchester’s former sponsor, Aon, for their spot on the jersey.
Manchester United’s deal with Chevrolet is worth more than the 14 smallest deals in the Premiere League combined. The automaker is currently enjoying the exposure from the team playing a pre-season game against the L.A. Galaxy of Major League Soccer, and is hosting a match between United and Spain’s Real Madrid at Michigan’s Big House stadium this weekend.