General Motors inked a deal for its Chevrolet brand to appear on the jerseys of Manchester United a day after the US carmaker’s marketing chief abruptly resigned.
GM and the football club did not disclose the value of the seven-year sponsorship, but Reuters reported the deal would be worth nearly $600m.
Chevrolet will replace Aon, the US insurer, on the team’s jerseys starting in the 2014-2015 season. Aon has been on Manchester United jerseys since the 2010-2011 season and its sponsorship is said to be worth £80m over four years.
The agreement followed Sunday’s announcement that Joel Ewanick had resigned as GM’s chief marketing officer. The company would not say what precipitated Mr Ewanick’s departure, only that “he failed to meet the expectations that a company has of an employee”.
But sources told the Wall Street Journal and Reuters that Mr Ewanick had not properly reported the financial details of a sponsorship deal with Manchester United. The Journal reported that GM had altered the terms of the deal originally struck by Mr Ewanick.
In May, GM signed a five-year partnership with Manchester United that made it the football club’s official automotive sponsor. The company announced a similar partnership with Liverpool football club last week.
GM would not give any details of the circumstances surrounding Mr Ewanick’s resignation.
“Our commitments to our soccer partnerships remain firmly in place,” the company said on Monday.
Mr Ewanick could not be reached for comment. On Sunday night he posted to his Twitter account: “It has been a privilege and honour to work with the GM team and to be a small part of Detroit’s turnround. I wish everyone at GM all the best.” (FT)