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Old 3rd August 2012, 15:48   #1
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Default Manchester United Fans begin Glazer sponsors' boycott


Friday August 3rd 2012


The Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) has today (August 3rd) called for a worldwide boycott of Manchester United sponsors’ products, with support across the UK, Europe, Asia and the US.

With members in over 100 countries and additional support from locally based fans groups in places such as India, Indonesia and USA MUST has instigated the initiative in response to the planned New York IPO.

All the club’s sponsors are being targeted and a mailing programme based on the technology used in President Obama’s previous election campaign is being utilised.

The Manchester United Supporters Trust has strongly opposed the Glazer family ownership which sees the club £430million in debt and has cost it a further £520million in fees and debt repayments.

The planned IPO was initially intended to raise funds and to use all those proceeds to pay down some of the debt but in a u-turn the Glazer family now plan to take half the proceeds for themselves.

The boycott strategy is intended to send a loud and clear message to the Glazer family and club sponsors that without the support and purchasing power of the fans - the global strength of the Manchester United brand doesn’t actually exist.

It is hoped sponsors will put pressure on the Glazer family to reconsider their plans.

It is also hoped the companies advising the Glazers on the IPO, and potential investors themselves will recognise that without the full support of fans going forward there are too many uncertainties in meeting the IPO prospectus’ claims on revenue streams.

A spokesman for MUST commented.

“Essentially the IPO is bad for investors, the club and the fans.”

“The Glazer family sell the rights to our loyalty and devotion for the club to sponsors for many millions but then use that money to pay off their self imposed debt”.

“It has to stop and we want the IPO shelved and a proper fan ownership model put in place – one share, one vote”.

“Our actions are no different to the marketing tactics used by all the clubs sponsors anyway – we’re just executing it in another way. Their efforts are mostly about brand switching and ours are too – we’re just saying more overtly - don’t use those sponsors products – and the sample of fans we’ve spoken to around the world believe this is the right approach”.

“Even without this approach, allowing the Glazer’s to continue running the club unchecked is bad news for sponsors. Less funds for the club (because of servicing current debt levels) means less investment in the team and that could impact on sponsors being associated with a winning, successful team. That would be like sponsors watching their own ROI diminish”.

Manchester United Football Club sponsors include:

AON, DHL, BWIN, Casillero Del Diablo Wines, Hublot, Smirnoff, Mister Potato, Nike, Chevrolet, Singha Beer, Thomas Cook, Turkish Airlines, Epson, STC, PCCW Telecommunications, GlobalCom, Viva Kuwait, MTN, Airtel, Zong, Globul, TM Telecommunications, Viva Telecommunications, Turk Telekom, A.P. Honda, Airtel Africa, Beeline Telecommunications.

There has been a surge in consumer power recently with shareholder revolts at Aviva, Barclays, Reckitt Benckiser and even marketing services group WPP.

The clothing and retail brand Gap performed a u-turn on a proposed new corporate identity following a customer backlash and the US fast food chain Chick-fil-A is currently experiencing a consumer revolt.

Contact details:

UK Manchester:
Chief Executive: Duncan Drasdo, +44 7883070876

UK London:
Chair: Gerald Shamash, +44 7973659102

USA, Washington DC:
JD Deitch, +1 7034930422
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King
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