Vodaphone unveils Man Utd mobile phone portal

Vodafone is launching its mobile phone portal for Manchester United, manUmobile, this week. It has been hailed as the cornerstone of the company’s &£30m four-year sponsorship deal with the world’s biggest club.

The move suggests that the club has now settled its dispute with Kingfisher arm VCI over Internet publishing rights, first revealed in Marketing Week (MW March 23), although both parties have always publicly denied there was a row.

Man Utd fans who register for the service – either on the Internet or through a WAP phone – will receive the latest news and information about the team, delivered direct to their mobile phones. This will include text alerts, detailing news, match data, ticket availability and updates about pitch events on matchdays.

Initially the service will only be available through Vodafone, although the company plans to roll it out to other mobile networks within the coming months.

Vodafone UK managing director, commercial, Paul Donovan says: “Over the next few months we intend to offer Man Utd fans a broad range of services – together with club accessories and mobile phone packages.

“And with the introduction of new technology, it won’t be long before personalised video, audio and multimedia services will be available to fans around the world.”

Initially the service will be promoted on Vodafone and Man Utd’s websites, in club literature and through direct marketing activity, but a spokeswoman says the company has yet to decide on the long-term marketing strategy.

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