Man United told to look to Asia for shirt sponsor

Manchester United appears confident that its English Premier League shirt will draw a more lucrative deal than the US$ 15.5 million received from departing sponsor Vodafone plc. "The conversations we've had in the last few weeks would indicate that our confidence is not misplaced,'' spokesman Phil Townsend told Sam Sheringham of Bloomberg.

The club has approached technology companies, including Google Inc, Yahoo! Inc, LG Electronics, and Sony Corp to replace Vodafone, The Times reported (30 Nov).

O2 plc, whose shirt sponsorship deal with Arsenal ends next May, didn't entertain an approach from United because the UK mobile-phone network operator is looking to brand music concerts and computer games, spokesman Simon Gordon told Bloomberg.

"United might struggle to get a higher figure," John Taylor, chairman of London-based sponsorship firm Sports Impact, said. "Most of the global brands who spend that amount of money are already tied up with a football club or have looked at it and considered it's not for them."

United should focus on finding a brand with a strong presence in emerging soccer markets such as Asia, Taylor said.

See also: MU and Vodafone split as shirt sponsorship soars (23 Nov)