Have Manchester United Made a Commercial Mistake?

The majority of focus has been on the acquisitions Manchester United made during the recent transfer window. However, I’m wondering whether a certain departure could have a bigger impact not necessarily on the field, but off it. The club have put years of effort and strategic commercial plans into growing and expanding their presence in Asia but have they made a commercial mistake by selling Shinji Kagawa?

With the signings of Dong Fangzhou in January 2004, to Park Ji-sung in July 2005, to Shinji Kagawa in June 2012 (all pictured below), Manchester United have coupled a highly successful drive in commercial partnerships in the continent with having an Asian player in the squad. After the sale of the latter back to Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United will have no Asian player in the squad for the coming season and I’m wondering whether this will have an affect on their popularity in the continent.

Man Utd Asian Players

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Sponsorship and Amateur Football


A huge majority of attention goes towards sponsorship at the top level of football, but I’ve chosen to focus on sponsorship at an amateur level in this post as it is something I’m actively involved in. I (attempt to) play at this level, and this season, I’ve volunteered myself to be more involved in who my club are sponsored by and, more importantly, how we go about gaining this sponsorship.

The landscape of sponsorship in football is very different depending on what level you look at. The lower down the levels you go, the more the landscape changes. At the top, you have the likes of Manchester United and the English Premier League. Lower down sits the newly formed Scottish Premiership. Go down another rung on the ladder and you’ll find the lower divisions of Scottish football. Go down further, keep going, a little bit more, and you’ll discover the guys of all ages, shapes and sizes spending their Saturday or Sunday afternoons playing in the Scottish amateur leagues.

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One Sponsorship Too Far?

If sponsorship is the topic of discussion, we can’t ignore the team I support, Manchester United.

If I was to analyse every single one of United’s official sponsors, I’d be here for a while. To name a few, they have an official savoury snack partner, an official wine partner, an official timekeeper and official telecommunications partners in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bulgaria and many more.

So have United taken it too far then? In my opinion, yes they have. To prove my point, I’m going to look at their sponsorship with their official airline partner, Turkish Airlines.

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Manchester United and Twitter

23.3million people like Manchester United on Facebook. I’m one of them. In the last year or so though, the popularity of Twitter in my opinion has increased and I realised that the club I support doesn’t have an official Twitter account. And infact, out of the 20 English Premier League clubs, Manchester United are the only one not to have an official Twitter account.

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