Chevy and Manchester United have agreed to extend their existing jersey sponsorship deal until the end of 2021.
Chevy’s current deal with Manchester United was set to expire at the end of the 2020/2021 soccer season. The club has been unable to secure a new jersey sponsorship deal for the 2021/2022 season, partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s now elected to extend its deal with Chevy as it continues its search.
According to Sports Pro Media, Chevy’s jersey sponsorship deal with Manchester United is worth about £64 million a season, equivalent to $83 million USD. Chevy will pay for the sponsorship extension in monthly installments, the publication also said, lessening the financial impact of the deal for parent company General Motors.
It is a bit surprising to see Chevy and Manchester United commit to a sponsorship extension, as the deal was previously considered a bit of a marketing blunder on the part of GM. The automaker signed the hugely expensive deal in 2012 with the intention of giving the Bowtie brand a marketing boost in the region, but it then yanked Chevy from all European markets shortly after in 2013. While wide-reaching fanbase of a globally popular team like Manchester United continues to help Chevy gain exposure worldwide, the deal is still a bit odd, seeing as UK citizens and Europeans cannot currently buy a Chevrolet vehicle.
Manchester United players weren’t particularly happy with the deal, either. When Chevrolet offered them up a fleet of Camaro and Corvette vehicles to drive around, the players balked, deciding they’d rather driver their own (likely very high-end) vehicles instead. To the players’ credit, though, the Chevys were all left-hand-drive and were thus a bit awkward to pilot around the UK’s roads.
Last year, Chevy brought Manchester United and Chinese esports organization Invictus Gaming together for a jersey swap. Like Manchester United, Chevy serves as the main jersey sponsor of Invictus Gaming and appears on the team kit at all esports events they compete in.