Oct 25, 2012 at 09:17 PM
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Man U Will End DHL Deal Early, Says It Can Get More $ On The Open Market

In a bid to get more for its training kit on the open market, english soccer club Manchester United has bought out its pre-existing sponsorship deal with transport and logistics company, DHL. The news was first tweeted by AP Sports Writer, Rob Harris, and according to reports, DHL is only in the second year of what is believed to be a four year, $64 million deal, now revised to expire as of June 2013. The news may not come as a huge surprise to some given that the club has seen sponsorship revenue jump 15% in the last year, in large part thanks to its blockbuster jersey deal with GM's Chevrolet unit and rapid international expansion of the brand. Since July alone, Manchester United has secured new sponsorship deals including Bwin, Toshiba Medical Systems, Yanmar, Fuji TV, Santander, Shinsei Bank, MBNA, Bakcell and Kagome. Today's DHL announcement was made public in an SEC filing this afternoon.

Here's the pertinent part from Manchester United's 20-F SEC filing:

"As a continuation of our approach to categorizing our commercial rights, we are in the second season of a training kit partnership with DHL. Our kit includes apparel worn by our players while training and while warming up prior to a match. The agreement was signed in August 2011. As part of this partnership, we upgraded DHL from our global logistics sponsor to our training kit sponsor. Under the training kit partnership agreement, we grant DHL the rights to have its logo on all training kit worn by the team as well as replica training kit, which provides DHL with both significant media exposure and a significant retail presence. We also grant DHL the right to use our brand and intellectual property in certain marketing campaigns as well as the right to advertise certain products in our stadium and club media. We have successfully negotiated an early buyout of our training kit agreement with DHL effective 30 June 2013. DHL will then continue as our global logistics sponsor. The significantly increased value of agreements concluded since entering into this agreement, such as our recent $559 million world record shirt sponsorship with General Motors, leads us to believe that there should be strategic opportunities to further optimize the value of these rights.

The full filing can be found here.


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