Manchester United, the embattled heavyweights from English soccer’s top-tier Premier League, have unveiled Qualcomm, the US communication technologies firm, as their new front-of-shirt sponsor from 2024-25.
Qualcomm already has a commercial relationship in place with the club – struck in August last year – and has now expanded that deal to see the logo of its Snapdragon brand on the front of the different match day shirts of the men’s and women’s teams.
The communications firm will replace global tech company TeamViewer, which has been United’s primary shirt sponsor since the start of 2021-22 and has paid £47 million ($58.6 million) annually. Qualcomm will become United’s seventh front-of-shirt sponsor.
The Athletic has reported that the deal runs for three years and that United have been targeting at least £60 million per year from their next set of front-of-shirt rights.
The change comes after TeamViewer informed the Manchester club’s hierarchy last August that due to a change in strategic priorities, it would not be extending its deal past the original five-year limit. Then, a few months later, United and TeamViewer agreed that the club would be able to buy back its front-of-shirt branding rights from its reluctant partner at any time from that point, so as to sell onto another brand.
This has now taken place, with the United-TeamViewer commercial relationship thus ending two years earlier than originally anticipated.
The original deal between United and Qualcomm was also used to promote the company’s Snapdragon brand.
It also entails Qualcomm advising United on planned improvements to mobile connectivity levels at the club’s Old Trafford Stadium.
Before TeamViewer came on board, the main sponsor of United’s playing shirts was Chevrolet, the US vehicular brand. Chevrolet was estimated by GlobalData as paying in the region of £51 million per season.
In late July, United and major German sportswear brand adidas extended their kit supply partnership until 2035.
The 10-year renewal is worth a minimum of £900 million, or £90 million per season. This will again make it the most lucrative in the history of the top-flight Premier League.
The club’s previous decade-long agreement with Adidas, which began in the 2015-16 season, was valued at a total of £750 million.
This contract was not due to expire until the end of the 2024-25 campaign.
The new lucrative, long-term commercial deals have been struck despite the current uncertainty regarding the club’s ownership – various reports over the past few weeks have suggested that the Florida-based Glazer family, who have owned United since 2005 and initiated a review process to assess a potential sale late last year, are now backing away from that option.
Qualcomm last year was a partner of the iconic Formula 1 motor racing team Ferrari.