Manchester United make moves in Pakistan market

 

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The Independent Online

Manchester United commercial director Richard Arnold is not concerned about the prospect of rival clubs adopting the Red Devils' 'territorial' approach to marketing.

United became the first club to crash through the £100million barrier for commercial income last year and, judging by their continuing ability to attract sponsors, it seems that number will grow still further.

Pakistan mobile company Zong is the latest to join United's portfolio.

Although the Glazer family have been repeatedly attacked for pushing the club into huge debt, they are also responsible for the new approach of doing deals with various companies - particularly mobile operators - in different countries.

By offering exclusive content, they are able to maximise revenue from a fanbase estimated at £333million.

"Any team should look at them and learn," said Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis recently.

Given the vast global popularity of the Premier League, it would be no surprise if some of United's rivals tried to adopt the same methods, and possibly forge links with the same companies.

But Arnold remains unconcerned at that prospect.

"There is only one Manchester United," he said.

"Whilst a lot of the strategy is public knowledge, I am very fortunate to be with the club I am with and able to do these deals.

"I don't spend a lot of time worrying about other clubs.

"I just concentrate on what happens here.

"We are in a very good position. It is my job to make sure that continues."

Arnold is the man credited with the £40million four-year contract with DHL for United's training kit.

Aside from Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City, it was more than any English club receives for its actual kit deal.

"A lot of hard work has gone into getting to the position we are in now and we are already looking to the future," said Arnold.

"If people want to recreate what we did five years ago that is up to them.

"It isn't other clubs that I worry about; it is what we are going to be doing in the future."

PA

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