Saudi telecom firm in sponsorship deal with Man United

August 18th, 2008 - 9:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Aug 18 (IANS) Saudi Arabia’s leading telecommunication services provider Saudi Telecom has entered into a five-year sponsorship deal with European and English Premier League Champions Manchester United.According to the deal which makes the Saudi firm the official mobile communications partner of the English club, all Saudi Telecom business units will have full use of the club’s logo in marketing campaigns and also use of the players’ photographs as well, a company statement said.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be playing ball with Manchester United,” said Muhammad Al-Jasser, chairman of Saudi Telecom.

“The partnership will significantly raise STC’s (Saudi Telecommunications Company) global profile since the club has a huge fan base throughout the world and a strong following among football fans throughout the Middle East and especially in Saudi Arabia,” he added.

Though the company did not mention the amount of the deal, reports in the British media put it at around £10 million ($18.7 million).

Giving other details of the deal, Al-Jasser said that Saudi Telecom would have presence inside Manchester United Football Club’s (MUFC) 70,000-capacity stadium in Old Trafford and would be featured on the club’s website.

“In addition, STC will be conducting prize draws in which the winners can attend key Man U matches and also, the club will send four emails a year to registered fans in the region,” he said.

“Furthermore, under the terms of the agreement, each year 70 Saudi students will have the opportunity to go for a period of training at the Manchester United Academy, one of the world’s most prestigious football training centres.”

As for the marketing aspects of the deal, Al-Jasser said the telecom operator would work “closely with a specialist marketing team from MUFC to develop innovative ideas to support the partnership”.

“As an example of what’s to come, in line with the popular trend in cellphones, STC is already in the process of creating and activating a Manchester United mobile,” he said.

Expressing delight at the new agreement, Manchester United chief executive David Gill said: “This historic deal will give Saudi Telecom exclusive rights as the official mobile communications partner of Manchester United in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with access to unique mobile phone content, including player interviews, goal replays and match reports.”

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