With cheering fans marching on , one of the most controversial sports sponsorship deals ever - General Motors backing Manchester United - was finally turned into an advertising reality yesterday.
In a video showing off Chevrolet's "Bowtie" logo, the US car giant finally took over from AON as United's match-shirt sponsor. The video does it brilliantly, telling the story of United's strips down the years.
The timing works well for Chevy, says the American Adage magazine .
“ With Team USA performing well at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, soccer fever is at its peak in the U.S.”
The 60-second spot by Chevy agency Commonwealth shows club legends and supporters singing their "Glory, Glory, Man United" song as they march down to the Old Trafford stadium.
There were nine famous ex-players in the video: Sir Bobby Charlton, Dennis Law, Alex Stepney, Norman Whiteside, Arthur Albiston, ClaytonBlackmore, Dennis Irwin, Gary Pallister and Lou Macari. How many did you spot?
Along the way, we see the fans putting on and taking off the club's previous red shirts - until they catch up with the new one
United’s current stars including Wayne Rooney step forward to unveil the Chevy kit. "The shirt belongs to you. Always has. Always will,” says Rooney.
Chevy is inviting fans to sign up for an app at www.ChevroletFC.com where they can virtually try on the Chevy kit. The new campaign is part of Chevy's global "What Do You #PlayFor" marketing effort.
"Our presence on the new Manchester United home shirt is a highly anticipated moment for the club's more than 659 million followers around the globe, and for the Chevrolet brand," said Tim Mahoney, CMO of Global Chevrolet in a statement.
"From the beginning of our partnership with Manchester United more than two years ago, we pledged to bring fans closer to the game. This celebration of the new shirt will honour that pledge by making them part of the unveiling."
Man U. will play its first match bearing the Chevy logo during the Chevrolet Cup July 23 at the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles. Their opponents: LA Galaxy.
Joel Ewanick, who held a global CMO post similar to Mahoney, was roundly criticised for agreeing to pay $559 million over seven years to sponsor the club known as the New York Yankees of international soccer.
He was fired shortly after finalising the deal in 2012. Ewanick publicly defended the deal as a "no-brainer" during an automotive conference in Las Vegas in 2013.