Man Utd signs Indian phone deal

08 May 2009 04:13
Manchester United has signed a £10m ($15m) sponsorship deal with India's largest mobile phone network Airtel.Under the deal, Airtel's 92 million subscribers will be able to view Man Utd content on their phones, including matches and interviews. [LNB]United said it recognised the growing potential of doing business in India. [LNB]The club is also looking for a new shirt sponsor after US insurer AIG said in January that it would not renew its contract when it runs out next year. [LNB]AIG had come under pressure in the US to end its shirt sponsorship deal with Manchester United after the insurer required a multi-billion dollar bail-out from the US government. [LNB]'Exciting development'[LNB]Founded in 1985, Airtel reported annual revenues of £4bn last year. [LNB]Based in New Delhi, it has a 25% stake of the Indian mobile phone market. It also operates in Sri Lanka and the Seychelles. [LNB]"This partnership [with Airtel] demonstrates the enduring strength of the club internationally," said Manchester United chief executive David Gill said. [LNB]"This is a very exciting development because India is an area of commercial potential. [LNB]"We are looking at everything. Some might work, others might not." [LNB]Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said interest in football in India was now "accelerating fast" behind cricket.

Source: BBC_Sport