Manchester United has announced a sponsorship agreement with Japan’s leading social gaming company gloops.
The company is worth an estimated $2.4 billion and they will launch a United related stats based card game to their 18 million users signed up in Japan alone.
On the surface it seems to be a little bit like a Top Trumps sort of game, but in social gaming format, provided through mobile phones, tablets and laptops, which could work hugely because it’s a very simple idea based on numbers which can be digitally stored.
The deal effectively allows United to increase their support based across Japan, which is already estimated at around four million supporters, a small chunk of their total Asian fan base.
United seem to be intent on growing their various relationships with sponsors, which is very important because they are becoming increasingly reliant on sponsorship income as a main source of money for the club.
It’s unclear at this stage whether this deal holds any financial value for United, but it seems to be aimed entirely at increasing the club’s support groups in Japan beyond the four million mark.
What that will then allow United to deal is make themselves a more valuable commodity to their current sponsors, who will then have a bigger market through which to promote their existing products.
The one advantage that United have in terms of sponsorship when compared to other clubs, is their global fan base, currently estimated - by themselves - at around 650 million fans all over the world.
That means United can justify charging high amounts of money for various sponsorship deals, which brings in cash for the club within the Premier League’s cost control measures and Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules.
It’s also a very savvy move on the part of United because they have targeted an area, which is only going to increase and become more popular as social gaming and technology in general meets various improvements.
It’s an example of United thinking outside the box and forging partnerships, relationships and agreements with different companies and markets while their rivals haven’t even contemplated similar ideas.
It’s a very clever and innovative sponsorship deal which allows United to access almost four times the number of fans they currently have in Japan and gloops gets to sell United related games to loyal and passionate United supporters all over the country.
What do you make of the agreement? Clever?
image: © lloydm