BEIJING -- (Marketwire) -- 01/15/13 -- Media OutReach -- (NYSE: MANU) The World's biggest football club, Manchester United, yesterday announced a new sponsorship with Chinese soft drinks manufacturer Wahaha.
The new three year deal will see the popular drinks brand become the Club's first Official Soft Drinks Partner in China.
Wahaha has been the largest beverage producer in China for the past 11 years, with branded products including milk drinks, soft drinks, energy drinks, bottled water, bottled tea, fruit juice, porridges and yoghurt beverages.
Founded in 1987, the company's Founder and CEO, Mr Zong Qinghou, lead the celebrations for Wahaha's 25th Anniversary, in Hangzhou at the opening of the Group's new shopping mall, just a year after United Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson celebrated his own 25th anniversary at the helm of the Club.
With 108 million followers in China the Club's latest commercial partnership to be announced this season will enable it to engage with the country's growing fan base.
Manchester United's Commercial Director, Richard Arnold said:
'This is the Club's first sponsorship of its kind in China and we are delighted to be able to work with a company which, like Manchester United, is dedicated to innovation and leadership in its field. Wahaha is one of the most iconic brands in China and one that has come to symbolise the dynamism and strength of the modern Chinese economy. What better way to endorse this modern-day success story than to partner with the number one club in the world's biggest sport?
'Manchester United has a long association with China, visiting 11 times to play friendly matches. The first time was in 1975 and the most recent visit in August last year. Sir Alex and his team were overwhelmed with the welcome they received from fans who packed the stadium in Shanghai. This new collaboration between United and Wahaha will enable us to engage with our local followers all year round through great products and activities.'
Zong Qinghou, CEO of Wahaha said:
'The partnership between China's largest beverage company and the world's top English football club is an inspiring and huge development for Wahaha. This year is a milestone year for the company. The announcement of partnering with Manchester United represents a perfect opening paragraph in the next chapter of our history. We will continue to provide high-quality health drinks for everyone and to fulfill our commitment of 'Win Happy Health, Wahaha is always around you.'
About Manchester United
Manchester United is one of the most popular and successful sports teams in the world, playing one of the most popular spectator sports on Earth. Through our 135-year heritage we have won 60 trophies, enabling us to develop the world's leading sports brand and a global community of 659 million followers. Our large, passionate community provides Manchester United with a worldwide platform to generate significant revenue from multiple sources, including sponsorship, merchandising, product licensing, new media & mobile, broadcasting and match day.
Wahaha was founded in 1987 by Zong Qinghou. Under the leadership of Mr. Zong, in 2011, Wahaha's operation revenue reached RMB 67.9 billion, with an annual production capacity of more than 28 billion bottles of drinks, and RMB 12.3 billion in taxes. Wahaha was listed No.69 out of the top 500 Chinese manufacturing companies and ranked No.12 in China's private enterprises in terms of operating income. Out of every eight bottles of drink consumed in a country with a population of 1.3 billion, one of these bottles is a Wahaha product. Wahaha owns a national technology center, whose laboratory has passed the CNAS (China National Accreditation Service). The company also owns a center for post-doctoral studies and the Zhejiang key Laboratory of Food and Biological Engineering. Wahaha successively won the "Most Respectable Chinese Enterprise" five times and has earned AAA-level Credibility by National Industrial and Commercial Enterprises Credibility Rating System several times.
Wahaha has more than 60 branch offices in the country. Wahaha's procurement of agricultural products has reached RMB 35 billion driving the employment of 1.3 million rural labourers.
Wahaha's spending on social welfare activities has reached RMB 360 million.
The "25-year-old" Wahaha relies on the scientific concept of development to write its own history.
Manchester United Ltd
+44 (0) 161 868 8427
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