By Barry Janoff
March 22, 2017: Manchester United, one of the most popular and most valuable soccer franchises in the world, is heading back to the U.S. the summer and bringing some popular and valuable friends along.
The scheduled five-game Unmissable Tour 2017, presented by Aon, includes matches against Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester City, as well as two MLS clubs, the Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Like City.
ManU’s array of marketing partners will get extensive eyeballs across the nation, with many supporting via multi-media marketing.
Manchester United partners include many familiar to U.S. soccer fans and consumers: jersey-front sponsor Chevrolet, adidas, 20th Century Fox, DHL, EA Sports, Gulf, New Era, Tag Heuer, Columbia (outdoor apparel), Epson, Nissan Foods, Toshiba (Medical Systems) and Uber.
Club executives said the matches would be available via the MUTV app.
ManU is the third most valuable soccer franchise, and fifth most valuable sports franchise in the world, with a value estimated at more than $3.3 billion. Majority owners are the Glazer Family, which also holds majority ownership of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The club trails only there NFL’s Dallas Cowboys ($4 billion), Real Madrid ($3.65 billion), Barcelona ($3.55 billion) and MLB’s New York Yankees ($3.4 billion), according to Forbes.
The club said it has more than 659 million fans worldwide.
On social media, Manchester United’s Twitter destination has more than 10.5 million followers, its Facebook site tops 71 million followers.
"Visiting North America will give the team the best possible preparation for the new season, using top class training facilities and playing in some great stadiums," Ed Woodward, Manchester United’s executive vice chairman, said in a statement.
"We have witnessed first-hand the passion and support for the Club in the U.S. in recent years, so naturally it is something that everybody is very much looking forward to this summer."
ManU’s tour includes matches that are part of the International Champions Cup (under the auspices of Relevent Sports, Catalyst Media Group and LeSports). This will be Manchester United’s fifth visit to the U.S. since 2011.
"Everybody is excited for the tour and it gives us the opportunity to play in front of some of the millions of Manchester United supporters which we have across the USA," said Woodward. "I am delighted that those fans will be able to see every kick of every match of the 2017 Tour, presented by Aon, on the new MUTV app."
ManU Summer 2017 Unmissable Tour Schedule
• July 15 Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)
StubHub Stadium, Carson
• July 17 Real Salt Lake (MLS)
Rio Tinto Stadium, Salt Lake
• July 20 Manchester City
• July 23 Real Madrid
Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.
• July 26 Barcelona
FedEx Field, Washington, D.C.
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