In an effort to gain global appeal of its brand, General Motors has partnered with the English Premier League's Manchester United on a 5 year deal. Manchester United is one of the most popular sports teams in the world, and will help put GM on the map worldwide. This partnership comes with other big news from GM. They have pulled their paid advertising from Facebook and have also decided not to advertise during the 2013 Super Bowl. These are huge changes, but should take their global branding to a whole new level. They have reportedly been working on upping their sales overseas.
This change comes with a change in advertising for Chevrolet to a new advertising agency, Commonwealth. They replace the approximately 70 agencies that have worked on advertising for Chevrolet. They have changed up their thinking and are working to create more effective spending. An example of that is the 20 or so TV commercials pumped out for the Chevy Cruze, when only a half dozen were needed, as stated by Chief Marketing Officer for GM, Joel Ewanick.
Manchester United has long been one of the most popular soccer teams in the world. With 659 million followers, they are easily the most popular club in the world. For example, in a regular season game featuring Manchester United versus fellow EPL great, Manchester City, there was a recorded 600 million viewers, and compare that to the 110-115 million viewers of the Super Bowl in recent years. Looking at these numbers, it's easy to say they made the right choice here.
In other soccer and GM related news, GM has recently announced a plan to donate 1.5 million indestructible soccer balls all over the world (137 countries have already received soccer balls). This is a part of the project One World Futbol which started in 2010.