Man Utd and Liverpool stars front Chevrolet ad

Manchester United and Liverpool may have the fiercest rivalry in English football but in a rare sign of unity players from both teams have joined forces to front an advert for multi-million sponsor Chevrolet.

The US car brand, which is the automotive sponsor for both sides, hopes the 45-second spot will capitalise on the global interest around both teams ahead of next Sunday’s (13 January) high-profile Premier League match between the two.

It features spliced shots of two players from each team delivering a mantra about how much their club means. Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand, Robin van Persie and Paul Scholes star for United, while Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen, Glen Jonson and Jonjo Shelvey appear for Liverpool.

The advert has sparked a backlash of complaints from fans of both teams over a perceived failure to respect the long-running rivalry between the sides. United fan @stephdoehler tweeted: “United fans hate it. Liverpool fans hate it. What was Chevrolet’s thoughts?!.” Liverpool fan @BlessedWithPace adds: “Safe to say I’ll never buy a Chevrolet then. What the hell are you thinking @ChevroletFC? Do you not understand this rivalry? #DrivenBy.”

The advert is part of Chevrolet’s #DrivenBy marketing strategy, which aims to use the global reach of both the United and Liverpool football brands to raise its awareness in Europe and Asia. The auto maker paid a reported £360m last summer to replace Aon as the shirt sponsor of Manchester United for seven years. Last July, it also signed a deal with Liverpool to become the club’s automotive supplier until 2016.

If you have a great sponsorship discipline case study that can demonstrate innovation and ROI, then make sure you enter the Marketing Week Engage Awards 2013. The deadline is 15 January and you can find more here.

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