Manchester United signs Telekom Malaysia as sponsor

Manchester United has signed a five year sponsorship deal with Telekom Malaysia (TM) in a bid to boost its brand equity across the Far East.

The team has signed a tie-up with TM, which is Malaysia’s leading telecommunications provider, to supply online content to their supporters.

It follows a tour of Malaysia by the Manchester United squad last year, when the team says 40,000 Malaysia fans, many decked out in replica team jerseys, turned up to watch the Red Devils train.

“The size of our fan base in Malaysia … is phenomenal,” United manager Alex Ferguson says. “The statistic that almost 25 percent of the Malaysian population support Manchester United is staggering.”

Commercial director, Richard Arnold, adds: “The club is at the forefront of building relationships with its fans through digital media and this partnership helps us to maintain that position.”

As part of its deal, TM will also offer the chance for fans to win trips to Old Trafford to see the English champions play.

Manchester United’s ownership is the subject of intense specualation as the Red Knights, the group of City financers looking to seize control of Manchester United, appointed investment bank Nomura to act as an advisor and David Beckham gave its cause an accidental PR boost by donning the colours of an activist fan group.

Members of the Red Knights include include Richard Hytner, deputy chairman worldwide at Saatchi and Saatchi and Jim O’Neill, chief economist of investment bank Goldman Sachs. Current owners The Glazers are understood to value the club at £1.5bn but it is thought that they would accept an offer of £1.2bn to end their controversial ownership of the club.

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