Manchester United lunges into television

Manchester United, the publicly-quoted football club, is to expand its branded business activities with a new television channel, MUTV, due to launch in a year’s time.

The decision to launch the service is part of a wider exercise to broaden the Manchester United brand by diversifying.

The proposed television station, a deal between the club, satellite broadcaster BSkyB and media group Granada, is just the latest business development to originate under the Manchester United banner. The brand is also applied to a vast array of merchandise, a museum, a megastore and a themed restaurant.

“It is still far too early to have made decisions on the design elements of the new channel,” says a Manchester United spokesman.

The current football renaissance has driven numerous football clubs to capitalise on the brand loyalty of their fans. “The brand of a football club has history and heritage, as well as the social aspect which can all be utilised in related products,” says Eddie McAtominey, managing director at Torres Design, which recently created a sports bar and diner for Sunderland Football Club (DW 22 August).

Many club brands are best applied to football-related pursuits, he says, but internationally famous clubs like Manchester United can branch into a wider range of business activities by incorporating other aspects of the team’s brand identity.

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