MUMBAI: Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd (GOLIL) announced that its parent company Gulf Oil International, a part of the Hinduja Group, had entered into its largest ever single partnership with Manchester United to become its global sponsor and official lubricant cum fuel retail partner till end of 2019 football season.
Spanning over three seasons, this multi-year partnership was signed by Gulf Oil International vice president Frank Rutten and Manchester United commercial director Jamie Reigle. “We were working on this deal for over a year and a half. International football is the biggest platform in the world, and Manchester United a celebrated brand, we couldn't find a more fitting partner for association given our ambitious target across the world for 2020,” said Gulf Oil International vice president Frank Rutten.
The deal will give Gulf Oil International access to Manchester United assets including the club crest and player images and Gulf’s distinctive orange disc will feature on the Club’s digital perimeter boards during Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup matches at Old Trafford though it does not include jersey presence for the brand.
The company’s partnership with Manchester United is in addition to its existing global tie-ups with Milwaukee BMW, World Superbikes, the World Endurance Championship with the Gulf Racing Team and Porsche.
Commenting on this partnership’s mileage in the Indian market, GOLIL managing director Ravi Chawla added, “Gulf Oil’s association with the world of sports has been phenomenal right from motorsports to cricket, where we have partnered with the best of the best. It was therefore logical for us to team up with Manchester United in order to reiterate our brand’s core values of endurance, quality and passion. We look forward to leverage this interesting mix of football and cricket and leverage this partnership to increase consumer engagement with the brand, create new and exciting communication platforms that will emphasis the customer value propositions.”
The company expects the tie-up with Manchester United to augment its long-term association with cricket for enhancement and further strengthening of its brand equity amongst its customers, especially for personal mobility consumers who use two wheelers or passenger cars.
After cricket, football is the second most popular sport in India. In recent years with the emergence of domestic leagues, the popularity of the sport is growing exponentially to reach youth, not just in the metros but in the tier-1 and tier-2 cities as well. Moreover, viewership of English Premier League & other football tournaments is gaining momentum in India.
The partnership marks a further step in Gulf’s intent to strengthen its brand presence globally as well as enable it to engage with Manchester United’s worldwide fan base, including 325 million followers in Asia, which Gulf sees as a major focus area with a strong presence in India and rapidly developing businesses in China, the Middle East and Indonesia.