Manchester United unveils a new sponsor after announcing that it’s agreed a transfer deal to bring in Dutch striker Robin Van Persie just days ahead of the beginning of the Premier League season. Matt Cowan reports.
Manchester United inks yet another deal. A day after the 19-time English soccer champions announced it wooed last year's player of the year Robin van Persie over from Arsenal, it announced a new sponsor: the sports betting company Bwin. No financial details were revealed, but at a news conference inside the club's stadium Old Trafford, manager Alex Ferguson hailed it as a major step. SOUNDBITE: Alex Ferguson, Manchester United Manager saying (English): "I welcome today's rather momentous occasion when a global company joins together with Manchester United. I must say the name is perfect Bwin with be winners. We always try to be winners." Manchester United has had a particularly active off season, listing on the New York Stock Exchange, inking a lucrative multiyear shirt sponsorship contract with General Motors and now adding the sports betting company Bwin to its list of partners. As the club already has shirt sponsors both for its game and practice outfits, this latest deal is being billed as a digital partnership." Norbert Teufelberger is the CEO of Bwin. SOUNDBITE: Norbert Teufelberger, Bwin CEO saying (English): "It gives us additional exposure to different markets because Manchester United is extraordinarily strong in Asian markets. We just announced the entry into social gaming.That's a new field for us which we can exploit in the Asian markets where real money gaming is not regulated and legal." Manchester United's commercial director Richard Arnold says such deals do have an on-field impact…but he stopped short of taking credit for the club's latest move. SOUNDBITE: Richard Arnold, Manchester United Commercial Director saying (English): "It isn't as linked as that. We have a balanced business model. We're long term in our view. We got a long track record of delivering on this and anyone who's knowledgeable and looks at our business sees how strong that is and sees that we have a history of attracting, retaining and more importantly developing the best talent." Bwin CEO Norbert Teufelberger says the odds of the club regaining its title have dramatically improved with the news van Persie is on his way to Old Trafford. Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was asked to comment the club's chances of winning its 20th English league title. At the time of this press conference, van Persie's transfer was still subject to a medical examination so the club's manager was initially measured when asked what difference he would make. SOUNDBITE: Alex Ferguson, Manchester United Manager saying (English): "He's not even here yet...if he's been agreed then we're delighted with that." Van Persie completed his move to Old Trafford a day later. And while the manager will be delighted, investors appear unfazed with Man U stock trading below its listing price of 14 dollars per share. Matt Cowan, Reuters.