Manchester United are hoping to break into the US market, in order to cash in on their global appeal. The record 19-time English champions will open an office on the east coast to maximize commercial opportunities in the United States, where the club is now listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
The location of the office is yet to be determined but it would replicate the operation set up by the club’s American owners in London that has turned United into one of world football’s biggest moneymakers.
“The US we view as a really good opportunity,” said United’s vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, Tuesday, in the boardroom of the club’s London offices. “The US media rights for soccer have rocketed.
The 2010 World Cup, they were the No1 payer for broadcasting rights. It’s rocketed again for 2014 in Brazil and we are expecting the Premier League to have a good outcome there for the [TV] rights given the way it’s taken off from being a niche sport.”
Woodward said the US office would be the first such overseas office to be opened by a football club. “There is real value there we believe from media deals, merchandising and sponsorship deals,” he said.
United’s revenue grew by 13.7% to a record £117.6m ($188.4m) in 2011-12, thanks to a new shirt sponsor and the signing of dozens of regional sponsorship deals, mainly in Asia and the Middle East.
The deals helped the club raise the revenue to cut debt resulting from the takeover by the Glazer family in 2005. The club’s gross debt is now £360m ($576m), Woodward said. [Source: Sport Business]
This is a striking example of a global club long term strategy to establish and position itself in a new market. I often mention on this blog the growth of soccer in the U.S and its immense soccer marketing potential.
Manchester United do not take this option lightly, and being physically in the U.S will tremendously grow their business.
Their new office will be New York City…….do we bet?