Vodafone ends sponsorship call with Manchester United
Vodafone announced today that they were ending their shirt sponsorship deal with Premier League club Manchester United. It is a premature end to the sponsorship which still has two years left, Vodafone will be putting their investment into the UEFA Champions League from 2006 onwards. This makes sense and gives Vodafone consisent exposure and affinity with the best teams across Europe.
Where does this leave Manchester United? They will have no problems finding a new shirt sponsor, the value of the new deal will be interesting though, particularly whether they will be able to match the £36m four year deal with Vodafone. The club is currently in a period of decline, in terms of winning trophies, and is not guaranteed to make the second phase of the lucrative and much-televised Champions League. I don’t think the intended boycott by the fans of the club had any effect on the decision of Vodafone but there is a lot of negativity, by both fans and the media, surrounding the club, due to some shaky performances, unrest in the dressing room and the unwanted change in ownership.
We are seeing the cyclical nature of team sports where a club will enjoy a period of success followed by a similar period of relative failure to win trophies, perpetuated in this case by the significant amounts of money to be earned through a high Premier League placing and qualification for the final stages of the Champions League.
I wonder how the Glazer family view their investment in the club at this time.
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