Chevrolet Signs with United States Soccer Federation

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General Motors Co. said Monday that its Chevrolet brand has signed a three-year sponsorship deal that will make the automaker’s No. 1 brand the official partner of U.S. Soccer.

The deal with the United States Soccer Federation follows last year’s announcement that Chevrolet was becoming the official automotive sponsor of the popular Manchester United team in Europe.

The brand’s bow tie logo will appear on Manchester United jerseys for seven years, starting with the 2014-2015 season.

Chevy is hoping its sponsorship with U.S. Soccer will help boost the brand in the country as soccer’s popularity here increases. GM said a football player lives in 30 percent of households in the U.S. Chevy already has a Youth Soccer sponsorship program that includes nearly 1,000 dealers and 850,000 youngsters across the U.S.

“Soccer is just growing so much here in the U.S. that it makes total sense to get in with soccer,” said Molly Peck, director of Chevrolet advertising and sales promotions. “It is where our customer is. It reaches such a great group of demographics.”

GM declined to say how much the sponsorship is costing the automaker. The company hopes to set up shop, for example, in sponsor zones at games or youth soccer events where Chevy would provide soccer-related activities and show its products at the same time, said Mike Weidman, Chevrolet national promotions manager.

Soccer is the No. 1 sport across the globe and it is growing in popularity among younger crowds in the U.S. GM said soccer in the U.S. ranks second only to the NFL among people who are 12 to 24 years old. GM also is a sponsor of the One World Futbol Project, a group that gives the special, durable soccer balls to children in need.

“By bringing our customers closer to these initiatives, we’ll share the love of soccer all over the world, whether it’s parents driving youngsters to a Chevy Youth Soccer team practice, transforming the lives of children around the world through the power of play, to cheering on favorite teams at the FIFA World Cup next year in Brazil,” Peck said in a statement.

U.S. Soccer manages the U.S. national men’s and women’s teams, youth national teams, men’s and women’s Olympic teams a development academy with 80 youth clubs across the U.S.

“Chevrolet has an impressive history as a global brand and we’re excited to begin this partnership,” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said in a statement.

Manchester United has more than 650 million followers across the globe. GM and Chevrolet are spending more than a half a billion dollars on the deal with Manchester United. GM’s former Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick was ousted by GM amid questions about handling of the European soccer sponsorship deal. [Source: MediaGM.com]

GM increases its presence in football. After a major deal with Manchester United for $80 million a year, and Liverpool, Chevrolet in also strongly involved in CSR with World Futbol Project. Partnering with US Soccer is another milestone for Chevrolet and GM.

Karl Lusbec

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