Manchester City Football Club has signed up travel company Thomas Cook as its official sponsor in a three-year deal thought to be worth about £2m. The deal comes less than two weeks before the Premiership football season starts.
The 11th-hour deal was forced on Manchester City after previous sponsor First Advice went bankrupt this summer (MW June 5). The deal only covers the away kit for the first year, as the sudden demise of First Advice left the club with almost 100,000 Reebok-made replica home shirts bearing the old logo (MW June 19).
Industry sources say the lack of home shirt sponsorship has cut the cost of the deal to about £250,000 for the first year, increasing to more than £500,000 for the second and third years. First Advice’s three-year deal was worth about £4m, although Manchester City is unlikely to recoup any money.
The Thomas Cook deal will include sponsorship of the club’s recently built City of Manchester Stadium, as well as the club’s training facilities and website. Thomas Cook will offer fans of Manchester City exclusive travel deals, and there are plans to sponsor trips to football training camps in other countries.
Thomas Cook joins rival travel company TUI UK as a Premiership football sponsor. TUI’s Thomson Holidays brand has sponsored Tottenham Hotspur since last year.