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Benefits of Promotion for Vodafone

The marketing benefits for Vodafone from the alliance cover three main areas.
The agreement includes the incorporation of Vodafone’s brand logo on the playing kit, the rights to use the Manchester United logo in promotions, advertising and perimeter signage at all Manchester United home games (ex-cluding European Champions League). Vodafone also features strongly in Manchester United marketing materials including match programmes, the Manchester United magazine and internet site www.manutd.com.
The association with a football team, especially Manchester United, also adds excitement, passion, fun and emotion to the Vodafone brand.
These benefits clearly support marketing objectives by promoting and enhancing the Vodafone brand, which will help to win and retain customers.
Through the link with Manchester United, Vodafone has the opportunity to increase sales of phones and accessories. With a variety of ‘Reds’ phones and accessories, Vodafone is offering a range of Manchester United phone covers and cases with different designs.
Offering Manchester United branded phones and accessories enables Vodafone to win more customers and increase brand awareness across the globe wherever there is a Manchester United fan.
The Official Mobile Communications Service for Manchester United fans is manUmobile. It is typical of the added value services that Vodafone is creating. Thanks to manUmobile, fans have direct access, through their mobile phone, to the latest news from the club 24 hours a day. Once users have registered at http://www.manumobile.com from their PC, they can receive a host of information direct to their digital mobile phone via text messaging. These services include text alerts giving fixture lists, match information, match incidents and news flashes. manUmobile ensures that fans know what is happening on the pitch, even if they are not at the game and are miles away from a TV set.
Fans can also register and access the service with a WAP handset via http://www.manumobile.com/wap.
Using this service, fans will have access to club news, details of ticket availability, route guidance to Old Trafford and detailed statistical information about each team or squad member. Under match information they can find fixture details, Premiership league tables, reviews of matches, match reports and so on.
The marketing benefits described above enable Vodafone to promote its global branding strategy by using the UK as a launchpad for stretching its own brand across the globe through one of the UK’s most prestigious global brands: Manchester United.
Vodafone’s sponsorship deal with Manchester United costs Vodafone £30 million over a four year period. Vodafone clearly has to evaluate the effectiveness of this partnership in terms of its own marketing objectives. It does so in four ways:
  • General awareness is measured through consumer research. For example, consumers may be asked questions such as “Did you know that Vodafone sponsors Manchester United?”
  • The impact of phones and accessories is measured by charting ongoing improvements in sales.
  • The success of value added services such as manUmobile is monitored in terms of the number of people registered and usage of the services.
  • Media Evaluation – Vodafone monitors TV and press coverage to measure the exposure of the Vodafone brand resulting from the sponsorship.
Keeping check in this way enables Vodafone to assess whether or not it has made a wise strategic move in teaming up with Manchester United. Evidence strongly suggests that it has.
Manchester United and Vodafone each stand to benefit enormously from their sponsorship and commercial alliance.
From Vodafone’s point of view, having its name on the shirts of the world’s best known and most highly visible football club is a clear benefit.
The partnership has done much more than that, however. Equally important, Vodafone has become Manchester United’s communication and technology partner, enabling the fans of the club to get news and information on the Reds wherever they are, through Vodafone’s value-added services.
Also, because Manchester United has a global fan base, Vodafone’s alliance with the club is enabling Vodafone to develop its own global presence.
For Manchester United, the deal not only generates extra income, but also provides valuable new services to its fans. This makes being a Manchester United fan even more attractive and for the club new fans mean new customers to sell to.
Like all the best deals, there really is something in it for everyone.


E-mail Steve Margetts