Manchester United complete £40m training kit sponsorship deal with DHL

? Deal with logistics company runs for next four years
? Club also announce partnership with Asian telecoms company

Manchester United have signed a new £40m sponsorship deal for their domestic training kit that exceeds the value of all but five main shirt sponsors in the Premier League.

As the club’s owners proceed with plans to float a stake of up 30% on the Singapore stock exchange, the club’s brokers are likely to point to the deal with logistics firm DHL as further evidence of their global commercial clout.

The total, understood to be worth slightly over £40m across four years, exceeds the club’s main shirt deal with former sponsors Vodafone, which ended in 2005, and is around half the £20m a year that Aon pays to be emblazoned across their shirt.

It is understood that chief of staff Edward Woodward, who oversees Manchester United’s London-based commercial arm, and commercial director Richard Arnold have targeted a substantial increase on that total when the shirt sponsorship comes up for renegotiation in 2014.

In 2008, they reorganised the club’s commercial department to target growth across the world in a range of regional categories and sign individual deals with telecom and media partners.

Manchester United’s full year accounts, to be released in October, are expected to show that commercial revenues have topped £100m for the first time. Quarterly results in May showed growth of around 30% on the previous year, while matchday and media income remained flat.

The club’s chief executive David Gill said the DHL deal “breaks new ground in the English game”. DHL’s logo will appear on training kit worn by first team, reserve and youth team players but only covers domestic fixtures.

The US company is banking on the fact that increased global media coverage of the Premier League will mean that its logo is heavily featured.

The club have also announced a three-year partnership with Vietnamese mobile telecommunications company, Beeline, to distribute United content in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. They claim to have 16m supporters in Vietnam alone, of 192m across Asia.

“Manchester United has always been at the forefront of the game off the pitch as well on it and this partnership is another example of that,” Sir Alex Ferguson said.

“Everyone knows about the passion of our fans in that part of the world and this deal makes it a lot easier for us to keep in touch with them.”

The Glazers have submitted the initial documents required to float a stake of between 25% and 30% on the Singapore stock exchange before the end of the year in a move that they hope could raise up to $1bn.


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