Manchester United may have found a new shirt sponsor, after a video emerged showing a new away kit with ‘Visit South Africa’ on its front.
The video emerged on Twitter yesterday, featuring Themba Khumalo, CEO of South Africa Tourism, unboxing the kit.
It has since been verified by Football Insider and South African journalist Timmy T Maranda.
A verified video confirms that #mufc sent ‘South African Tourism’ a proposal to sponsor their shirts. The package was received by their CEO, Themba Khumalo. pic.twitter.com/ZsMcz5E4Xs
— UtdChronicles (@UtdChronicIes) February 5, 2023
Visit South Africa recently agreed a sleeve sponsorship deal with Tottenham Hotspur, worth a reported £42.5m over the next three years.
It is unknown what the proposal with United would be worth, although as a front-of-shirt sponsorship with a club of such size, it would obviously be considerably more than that.
The Red Devils are searching for a new shirt sponsor, having bought back the rights after the deal with TeamViewer left the company unhappy with their return on investment.
That deal was worth around £47.5m a year.
Other tourist boards have shown an interest in becoming United’s new front-of-shirt sponsor, with preliminary talk having been held with Visit Saudi early in January.
However with other Gulf states – in particular where Qatari investors are concerned – interested in purchasing Manchester United from the Glazers in the coming months, such a deal would be unlikely.
Qatar, for example, would naturally be averse to promoting the tourism board of a rival nation.
Another option, as reported by The Peoples Person last month, would be for United to pursue a triple deal that would allow for front-of-shirt sponsorship, and naming right to both Old Trafford and Carrington.
Commercial expert and London head of sports services for JMW Solicitors Ben Peppi believes that such a deal would be of huge interest to new investors and would likely be worth over £100m-a-year.
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