Nov 01, 2012 at 03:26 PM
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GM CEO: 'We Didn't Sponsor Manchester United For Europe'

As expected, GM's Manchester United deal was a hot topic on the company's quarterly conference call yesterday. Analysts, looking for clarification on how the Chevy brand intends to use the $559 million sponsorship deal in a relatively mature auto market like Europe, peppered execs with questions. Finally, GM Chairman and CEO Daniel Akerson came out and took commentators to task, saying that the record breaking deal with the storied English football club wasn't meant for Europe at all (... silly).

Here are Akerson's comments from yesterday's call:

"I've read some of the commentary about Man U and why did we do that for Europe. Quite frankly, we did not do it for Europe. Man U is not going to sell well in Germany or France. There are 350 million fans, rabid fans of Man U in China. They have more fans in China than there are people in the U.K. This was for emerging market strategy for Chevrolet on a global basis. And then you have specific regional brands such as Buick or GMC or Opel, where you have a below the global market perspective, and that's why we're looking at it from that perspective, but Man U is a global play; it's not a European play."

This was also reported when the deal was announced back in July, but still, seems a little odd to completely dismiss an entire continent where the team you're paying a record amount resides. No?

photo credit: GM, source: