GM brand Chevrolet was unveiled as the 19-time English champions’ car sponsor, replacing Audi, at the end of May.
Joel Ewanick, GM’s chief marketing officer, said the brand owner was determined to 'appreciate the fans' and plans to build a car park next to Old Trafford ground. ‘This is our way of thanking fans for letting us be part of this,’ Ewanick said. 'We want to be a supporter, just like them.’
The company was given the option of a corporate box at Old Trafford but turned it down. ‘We’re giving the tickets back to the fans,’ Ewanick said.
Ewanick, talking to Marketing at the Cannes Lions Festival last week, added that Manchester United's failure to win the Premiership this year, or if it did not win next year, does not faze him.
It was more important for Chevrolet to be ‘associated with a team that has a chance and is always trying to win. We feel better about [Manchester United’s] heritage and their long-term prospects than just anybody we can think of’.
GM chose the club to help build its Chevrolet brand in Europe. In turn, Ewanick said, GM can help Manchester United gain a foothold in the US, ‘a market where they’re not so strong’.
Ewanick, who manages an $8bn global budget, attracted controversy when GM pulled its $10m paid advertising deal with Facebook, a story that published in the Wall Street Journal just days before the site's IPO.