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Discussion Starter #1
Wednesday, January 21, 2009

United eye passage to India
Phil Holland

It may come as a surprise to some to learn that one of the companies in the frame to become Manchester United's next shirt sponsor comes from India. But don't be fooled by the impoverished scenes depicted in Slumdog Millionaire, India boasts some of the most extraordinary wealth in the world.

United's current sponsorship deal with AIG expires at the end of next season, and given that the US insurance giant narrowly avoided bankruptcy last year (thanks to a $152 billion federal bailout) few observers where surprised when they confirmed they would not to be in the running to renew their four-year, £56.5 million deal.

Although the current economic climate suggests that United will be lucky to find another company willing to again break the British record shirt sponsorship deal as AIG did, it won't stop United from trying.

Enter Sahara. Anyone with a passing interest in cricket may have seen Sahara's logo on the shirts of the Indian national team; a privilege they paid $70 million for.

Sahara is a difficult organisation to pigeonhole, so wide and varied are their interests. The privately owned company is involved in airlines, financial services and property. Oh, and they built a city. That's right, a city; the extraordinary Aamby Valley development; a 10,000-acre ''aspirational city'' which Sahara refer to as a ''Megalopolis.'' Google it, incredible.

And Sahara are far from the only exorbitantly prosperous group in India, a fact illustrated by the vast sums which were spent, and continue to be spent, on cricket's Indian Premier League.

The sport's Indian governing body auctioned the rights to operate eight IPL franchises in the popular Twenty20 competition and earned a massive $723 million by doing so. The title sponsorship rights to the tournament, which began last year, were sold for $50 million, while the global television rights were sold for $918 million.

Sahara would not be India's first representative in English football, they would follow QPR co-owner Lakshmi Mittal, who, according to Forbes magazine, is the fourth richest person in the world with a net worth of around US$45 billion.

For United the possibility of agreeing a deal with an Indian company fits neatly with their continued expansion plans, and as noted above, the wealth in India makes having a presence in the subcontinent advantageous.

Of course, while there is supreme wealth in India there is also extreme poverty, and the gap between rich and poor is excruciating to all who have witnessed it.

While United will be happy to attract new fans from every demographic and social strata in the subcontinent, they will not be expecting to make money from the average fan.

Rather United will be targeting India's burgeoning super rich and the country's business leaders, hence why they sent a letter to Sahara inviting them to become a potential partner ''for the world's most iconic sports marketing tool, the Manchester United shirt''.

And in a savvy move designed to pique interest the club also sent the company a United shirt bearing the Sahara logo.

URL: http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=611427&sec=england&root=england&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab2pos2&cc=3436


An interesting read I thought I might share with you guys...I know there is a thread about the shirt sponsors already so I guess a merge is possible but there is more to the article which I did not post about Abramovic and Al Fayed if interested :)
 

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For the record that guy in the picture is batting genius Sachin Tendulkar.


And yeah, I hope our shirt looks better than my national teams kit. I've never really liked that logo and hope the people at United find a better modification if the deal goes through to make it look better.
 

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Nice pictures above...the coca cola one looks mint lol Budweiser has been a long partner of Man Utd but I doubt they have enough cash to be on our shirt and the same as The Sun, which would not be a good idea in my opinion.

I always wanted SONY or MICROSOFT on our kit, but don't know why really lol I think SONY would just look good...and so would Audi's 4 circle logo as they are great sponsors of ours and plus their owners Volkswagen are in great financial shape. I guess the thing with going with SAHARA is also the fact that we would open up to a new market for sure. I think the word SAHARA would look better on our kit as INDIA would not be written under it which wouldn't make it so conjusted like in Tendulkar case above.
 

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There is no way a company involved in the media would sponsor a sports team. I quite like the look of the Budweiser and Sony logo on the shirt but it'll all be about the money, not who's logo looks cool.
 

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The Sony one gets my vote!! But with good photoshop work the Bud and Cola ones might also look ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
SONY looks sweet!
Thanks for that post Revanth ;)

Lets hope they are interested and have enough cash :p
 

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I don't really like to look of Sahara tbh.

The Sony one's the best, and the Coca Cola one would also look good in white imo.
 
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