Man Utd’s commercial ‘engine’ spurs record revenue

Multi-million pound deals with brands such as Chevrolet and PepsiCo have sent Manchester United’s annual revenues skyrocketing to record heights as the Premier League champions revealed nearly half (42 per cent) of their earnings now come from sponsorship, merchandising and product licensing initiatives.

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Manchester United has seen commercial revenues hit record heights over the last year.

The Premier League outfit posted a sales jump of 13.4 per cent year-on-year to £363.2m for the 12 months to June.

It credited the rise to a 29.7 per cent increase in commercial revenues to £153m over the same period putting it far ahead of television and match-day earnings, which are worth £102m and £109m respectively.

Ed Woodward, who replaced David Gill as United’s chief executive earlier this year, says: “Our commercial business continues to be a very powerful engine of growth enabling the team to continue to be successful. We look forward to a successful 2013/14 season both on and off the pitch.”

The performance caps off a successful year for the Reds, which saw them ink deals with PepsiCo and Russian airline Aeroflot to enhance their presence in emerging marketings. It also sold off the naming rights to its training ground in a £180m deal with current shirt sponsor AEG. Current automotive sponsor Chevrolet will replace the risk management firm as the club’s main sponsor from next season.

The robust results provide a strong platform for the Woodward’s plans for the United brand after sponsorship experts predicted the team’s on-field performances would come under increasing financial pressure following Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to retire at the end of last season.

Woodward’s regime got off to a shaky start following a disappointing summer transfer window at Old Trafford. The club’s lack of European success over the last year was deemed a key a reason in it being ousted by Champions League winners Bayern Munch as the most valuable football brand in the world, according to Brand Finance’s Football 50 study.

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