Through the partnership Manchester United will support the airtel Allstars search for young African football talent, while airtel customers will have the opportunity to win tickets to watch the Red Devils play in Manchester, take part in coaching sessions and access exclusive Manchester United news and download highlights, ringtones and wallpapers through the airtel Live mobile portal.
Manoj Kohli, CEO (International and Joint Managing Director), Bharti airtel said: “Football is the universal passion of Africa and there’s no bigger club in the world than Manchester United. I’m tremendously excited about the opportunities for airtel customers to interact with the brand, win exclusive match tickets and have the chance to train with coaches from one of the leading academies in world football.
“Manchester United’s Old Trafford home is known as the Theatre of Dreams and that is exactly what we hope to fulfill: the dreams of thousands of airtel customers over the next four years. We’re also launching our ambitious airtel Allstars initiative, in association with Manchester United, to find and nurture African talent to make it right to the top of the professional game.”
Announcing the deal, David Gill, chief executive officer, Manchester United said: “We’re delighted to announce a new four year partnership with airtel Africa, one of the most innovative mobile operators in Africa. This deal gives airtel exclusive rights as the official mobile communications partner of Manchester United in 11 African markets with access to unique mobile phone content, including player interviews, goal replays and match reports.”
He added: “This ground breaking partnership will bring the action of Manchester United direct to our millions of fans in Africa and we’re pleased to support airtel in developing the rich pool of young football talent through the airtel Allstars initiative.”
airtel will be featured on the club’s website, which is the most visited sports website in the world. airtel customers will also have regular opportunities to take part in competitions and prize draws to win all expenses paid trips to attend Manchester United matches.
Each year airtel and Manchester United will run training sessions at the Manchester United Academy, one of the world’s most prestigious football training centres, and there will be opportunity for customers to attend coaching sessions with Manchester United coaches in the region.
Andre Beyers, Bharti airtel’s Chief Marketing Officer said: “Sport can be a powerful vehicle for social change, bringing people together and instilling values of teamwork and personal standards. Mobile communications is also a facilitator of social change and economic development, and we hope that our association with Manchester United will help drive us towards achieving those goals.”