DETROIT — Chevrolet’s five-year agreement to become the Official Automotive Partner of Barclays Premier League giant Manchester United includes the creation of the Chevrolet China Cup as part of the Manchester United 2012 Tour, delivered to the world by DHL.
Taking place in July, the Chevrolet China Cup will feature matches in Shanghai and another Chinese city. Chevrolet’s first global football sponsorship in the brand’s 101-year history centers on a commitment focused on enhancing the experience for supporters of the game.
Chevrolet also announced a partnership with the One World Futbol Project, an organization focused on sustaining play for youth in impoverished regions through a revolutionary, virtually indestructible football. Chevrolet’s support includes a pledge to donate 1.5 million One World Futbols over the next three years to organizations working with youth living in war-stricken zones, refugee camps, disaster areas and other disadvantaged communities. Chevrolet is the first corporate sponsor of the One World Futbol Project, which has positively affected more than 525,000 lives in 137 countries.
“As Chevrolet continues to grow as a global brand, this is the right time to make a commitment and establish a presence in international football,” said General Motors Global Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick. “Our ambition is to connect with football in a fashion that transcends traditional sponsorship. We want to bring to life the deep appreciation we have for the game by celebrating the best that football has to offer and introducing uncommon opportunities for fans to immerse themselves in the game.”
Said Manchester United Chief Executive David Gill: “Our preseason tour is an important process for the Club as it allows us to prepare for the season ahead as well as engage with our fans and partners in different markets. We had a fantastic amount of support from our fans last time we played a pre-season game in China. We were overwhelmed by the passion and excitement generated by the fans who came out to support us, and we hope that many more join us again this year. This is the first time we will play for the Chevrolet China Cup and I think it marks a fantastic start to what we believe it will be a long and successful relationship with Chevrolet.”
The One World Futbol Project has helped schools, orphanages, and nonprofits use sport to resolve conflicts, teach tolerance, and build communities. The company is also an affiliate member of the streetfootballnetwork, which connects 94 football-for-social change non-profits in 61 countries.
“The One World Futbol Project celebrates a primary value that is very close to Chevrolet, and that is football can touch lives, provide opportunities and bring positive change to people throughout the world,” said Ewanick. “The beauty of football is as much about the people as it is the game. One World Futbol Project has the potential to rally millions throughout the world to join in this effort, resulting in a global movement for the good of the game and people who are passionate about it. That’s the kind of movement that Chevrolet is committed to lead.”
Said Tim Jahnigen, co-founder and chief innovation officer at the One World Futbol Project: “Our mission at the One World Futbol Project is to make a positive impact by bringing the joy of football and play to youth around the world so that children can be children no matter where they live. In Chevrolet, we’ve found an ideal partner who shares our belief that football can not only bring people together through the excitement of the game, but can also help heal and rebuild communities impacted by war, disasters and poverty. Through this partnership, we can positively influence millions more lives with the simple power of a durable ball.”
Chevrolet China Cup
The Chevrolet China Cup is part of Manchester United’s Tour 2012, delivered to the world by DHL. The matches in China will be played against Shanghai Shenhua FC and another team, which will be announced at a later date. Manchester United will be playing in China for the first time since 2009 and third time overall.
“The opportunity to see Manchester United play in person is at the core of what emotionally moves its supporters, as well as football fans worldwide,” said GM China Group President and Managing Director Kevin Wale. “The Chevrolet China Cup also gives the world the opportunity to see how far football has come in China, on and off the pitch, and the promise the country has for the future. That’s an important objective for Chevrolet and GM, as we are extremely proud of our commitment to China and have proven it through offering a growing number of vehicles to meet the needs of Chinese customers.”
Manchester United Partnership
As part of its five-year deal with Manchester United, Chevrolet will explore several activations intended to bring supporters closer to the club, including sharing with fans some of the assets Chevrolet receives as a sponsor. Ultimately, the intent is to put the fans at the center of the partnership and provide them once in a lifetime access to the game they love.
“To be a truly respected global brand, you must inspire consumers,” Ewanick said. “Few brands, if any, can match the ability to inspire people everywhere as Manchester United. Our partnership will require a unique and absolute commitment – to the team, to its supporters and to everyone who loves football. The Chevrolet family is fully committed to the goal of affecting positive change through this sponsorship.”
One World Futbol Project
Jahnigen, who created the virtually indestructible One World Futbol, started the One World Futbol Project in 2010 with crucial support from his friend, international music legend Sting. Unlike any inflatable ball on the market, the One World Futbol never needs a pump and never goes flat, even when punctured multiple times. A single One World Futbol can outlast and outplay hundreds of regular soccer balls, sustaining the power of play even in the harshest landscapes.
The One World Futbol Project works with groups and companies all around the world to purchase, sponsor, and distribute its unique football where it can support lasting play. Individuals can also purchase a One World Futbol through a “Buy One Give One” program on the One World Futbol Project website. The purchase of a ball triggers the donation of another ball to organizations working in disadvantaged communities around the world. Those wishing to make donations only or purchase balls for their organization can also do so through the Project website.