Manchester United Seeks New Deep-Pocketed Sponsor
Remember AIG's shirt deal with soccer team Manchester United? AIG had a four-year $100 million deal which runs until 2010 but will not be renewing, leaving the team with the prospect of finding a new sugar daddy and it's looking like it has set its sights on India. India's Sahara Group is in talks with Manchester United to become the new shirt sponsors. Sahara, an unlisted group with interests from financial services to real estate, sees it as a way to encourage Indian soccer players and fans. For the team, it represents a chance to expand their global fanbase. This seems to be a growing trend in sports, that a team has fans that spread far beyond the hometown, but nowhere is it more true in European football which, although not big in the U.S., truily is a global sport.
Reuters reports that another Indian conglomerate, Tata group also received a sponsorship proposal from Manchester United back in March. The Sahara deal will likely be similar to AIG's contract and in the same price range. Sahara's Subrata Roy is expected to be in London on June 5 to finalize the deal.