Bulgarian mobile carrier Globul has signed a partnership agreement with English football club Manchester United, becoming the first Bulgarian company to secure a major international sponsorship deal. The contract will run until the end of the 2013/14 English Premier League season, Globul said.
Majority-owned by Greek operator Cosmote, a unit of OTE Group controlled by Deutsche Telekom, Globul is also the first company in Eastern Europe to sign such an agreement with the club, which has similar sponsorship deals with a range of telecoms from Asia and Africa.
Under the terms of the agreement, Globul will offer the club’s fans in Bulgaria access to exclusive Manchester United news, interviews, special features and other content over its mobile network.
The two parties will also jointly develop a promotional website in Bulgarian and English, specifically tailored for local supporters. Through various promotion and subscription reward initiatives, fans will have the chance to win signed merchandise and gain access to tickets at Old Trafford, Globul said in a statement.
Ten tickets will offered to subscribers of the new Globul United tariff plan who opt in by February 22, the carrier said. A further four tickets will go to the winners of a draw among existing Globul customers.
"I am very pleased to welcome GLOBUL to Manchester. Anything that brings our international fans closer to the Club is a good thing and we are looking forward to developing the partnership in the future," Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said.
United is one of the foreign clubs with the largest following among Bulgarian football fans, a standing it had even before signing Bulgaria's best current player Dimitar Berbatov in September 2008. In one well-publicised case, a local fan has spent years trying to legally change his name to Manchester United.