Sponsorship Strategy Manchester United José Mourinho

Will José Mourinho’s personal endorsements clash with Manchester United’s sponsors?


By Tony Connelly, Journalist

May 28, 2016 | 4 min read

José Mourinho’s appointment as Manchester United manager will undoubtedly excite the club’s sponsors who will look for ‘the special one’ to help invigorate their investments by returning the club to winning ways but what does the future hold for his personal endorsements with brands who will now compete with the sponsorship gargantuan that is Manchester United.

Will Mourinho’s personal endorsements clash with Manchester United’s sponsors?

The long expected confirmation came this morning when the club announced that Mourinho had signed a three-year deal, however Jaguar were the first to report on the news last night when they tweeted a message of congratulations to their beloved brand ambassador.

It is arguably a sign that the car manufacturer will not be pulling out of its partnership with the 53 year-old despite his new association with a club whose shirt sponsor is Chevrolet.

Brands obviously do not like conflict and on the face of it having two major car brands jostling for image rights for one of the most famous faces in football would in itself be conflicting.

It’s a point which the media attributed to be the cause of the lengthy negotiations for his role. A figure as popular as Mourinho understandably has many personal endorsements while Manchester United have an army of sponsors, so how do they make it work?

It’s worth noting that football is a pivotal example of rival brands coexisting in the same space. Adidas has Messi, star of a Nike sponsored club, and Nike have Ronaldo, figurehead of an Adidas club.

So the question remains, will Mourinho’s sponsors in Jaguar and watch maker Hublot be able to extract as much value from their relationship with the Portuguese boss now given Manchester United have competing brands in Chevloret and Bulova in their sponsorship portfolio?

“They need to sit down and look at whether they’ll get the same value as they expected when the deal was done,” said Gavin Peters, director of partnerships at Pitch.

“It will come down to whether they think there’s a direct competition. With regards to Hublot and Bulova, they’re at quite different price points so they might not be going for the same market. Similarly Jaguar and Chevrolet, both offer quite different cars. “

Dan Haddad, commercial consulter at Octagon, similarly doesn’t foresee any major hurdles for Mourinho’s sponsors. “The thing to remember about Chevloret and the club partners is that they’ll not have any individual rights around Mourinho,” added Haddad.

“The only thing that Jaguar have to be concerned with is the amount of brand exposure that Chevloret will have around Mourinho but with Manchester United having a separate training kit and training complex sponsor in Aon, that kind of dilutes that issue as well.”

Ultimately brands will weigh up the gains and losses which come with such news and the additional value they will get from the Mourinho brand being at the top of world football will likely offset any conflicting brand sponsorships from the club. Having exited Chelsea on such a sour note last year the Mourinho brand was at the lowest point it has ever been so his own sponsors only stand to benefit from the move that will see their investment on one of the biggest platforms in global football.

Sponsorship Strategy Manchester United José Mourinho

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