Jonathan Rigby

Head of marketing

Manchester United

It has been a turbulent 12 months for Manchester United, but from a marketing perspective, it has been nothing short of a tour de force. Make no mistake, Manchester United is a global brand, not just a football club, and Rigby has many reasons to be bullish. The club barely raised an eyebrow at the departure of official shirt manufacturer Nike, simply replacing the brand with Adidas, armed with a bigger budget and huge ambitions. Let’s face it, from a commercial perspective, commentators questioning whether Manchester United is diluting its brand by negotiating so many sponsorship deals highlights a problem most sports institutions would cry out to be suffering from. It is unlikely that Rigby indulged in any of this navel-gazing while signing a seven-year, £357m shirt-sponsorship contract with US car marque Chevrolet, which kicked off this year. But he can’t afford to rest on his laurels: the club was woefully slow to embrace Twitter and must guard against similar mistakes as the digital ecosystem continues to evolve rapidly.


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