The Chevrolet bow tie is finally disappearing from the jerseys of the Manchester United soccer club, marking the end of an expensive, eight-year debacle that cost Joel Ewanick his job as General Motors' chief marketing officer. GM signed the nearly $600 million deal in 2012, a year before it decided to pull Chevy out of the European market.
Man U's new sponsorship deal with German software company TeamViewer, effective at the start of the 2021-22 season, is worth about $20 million a year less than the GM contract. Still, the five-year arrangement is reported to be the Premier League's most lucrative jersey-only deal and the largest sponsorship signed by any sports team during the coronavirus pandemic. The club is in discussions to add a new automotive sponsor as well, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Although Ewanick called the sponsorship he orchestrated "the biggest no-brainer I've ever seen," former GM CEO Dan Akerson allegedly ousted him for using multiple marketing budgets to disguise the full cost of the deal, which GM later reworked. The contract included free cars for players, though some declined them because they were less luxurious than their own vehicles and were offered only in left-hand drive.