Chevrolet Kick-Starts Global Commitment to International Football

May 31, 2012, 09:23 ET from General Motors

SHANGHAI, May 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- 

  • 'Chevrolet China Cup' matches in China part of Manchester United sponsorship
  • U.S. automaker pledges support of One World Futbol Project with donation of 1.5 million 'virtually indestructible' footballs to impoverished regions

Chevrolet's five-year agreement to become the Official Automotive Partner of Barclays Premier League giant Manchester United includes the creation of the Chevrolet China Cup as part of the Manchester United 2012 Tour, delivered to the world by DHL.


Taking place in July, the Chevrolet China Cup will feature matches in Shanghai and another Chinese city. Chevrolet's first global football sponsorship in the brand's 101-year history centers on a commitment focused on enhancing the experience for supporters of the game.

Chevrolet also announced a partnership with the One World Futbol Project, an organization focused on sustaining play for youth in impoverished regions through a revolutionary, virtually indestructible football. Chevrolet's support includes a pledge to donate 1.5 million One World Futbols over the next three years to organizations working with youth living in war-stricken zones, refugee camps, disaster areas and other disadvantaged communities. Chevrolet is the first corporate sponsor of the One World Futbol Project, which has positively affected more than 525,000 lives in 137 countries.

"As Chevrolet continues to grow as a global brand, this is the right time to make a commitment and establish a presence in international football," said General Motors Global Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick. "Our ambition is to connect with football in a fashion that transcends traditional sponsorship. We want to bring to life the deep appreciation we have for the game by celebrating the best that football has to offer and introducing uncommon opportunities for fans to immerse themselves in the game."

Said Manchester United Chief Executive David Gill: "Our preseason tour is an important process for the Club as it allows us to prepare for the season ahead as well as engage with our fans and partners in different markets. We had a fantastic amount of support from our fans last time we played a pre-season game in China. We were overwhelmed by the passion and excitement generated by the fans who came out to support us, and we hope that many more join us again this year. This is the first time we will play for the Chevrolet China Cup and I think it marks a fantastic start to what we believe it will be a long and successful relationship with Chevrolet."

The One World Futbol Project has helped schools, orphanages, and nonprofits use sport to resolve conflicts, teach tolerance, and build communities. The company is also an affiliate member of the streetfootballnetwork, which connects 94 football-for-social change non-profits in 61 countries.

"The One World Futbol Project celebrates a primary value that is very close to Chevrolet, and that is football can touch lives, provide opportunities and bring positive change to people throughout the world," said Ewanick. "The beauty of football is as much about the people as it is the game. One World Futbol Project has the potential to rally millions throughout the world to join in this effort, resulting in a global movement for the good of the game and people who are passionate about it. That's the kind of movement that Chevrolet is committed to lead."

Said Tim Jahnigen, co-founder and chief innovation officer at the One World Futbol Project: "Our mission at the One World Futbol Project is to make a positive impact by bringing the joy of football and play to youth around the world so that children can be children no matter where they live. In Chevrolet, we've found an ideal partner who shares our belief that football can not only bring people together through the excitement of the game, but can also help heal and rebuild communities impacted by war, disasters and poverty. Through this partnership, we can positively influence millions more lives with the simple power of a durable ball."

Chevrolet China Cup

The Chevrolet China Cup is part of Manchester United's Tour 2012, delivered to the world by DHL. The matches in China will be played against Shanghai Shenhua FC and another team, which will be announced at a later date. Manchester United will be playing in China for the first time since 2009 and third time overall.

"The opportunity to see Manchester United play in person is at the core of what emotionally moves its supporters, as well as football fans worldwide," said GM China Group President and Managing Director Kevin Wale. "The Chevrolet China Cup also gives the world the opportunity to see how far football has come in China, on and off the pitch, and the promise the country has for the future. That's an important objective for Chevrolet and GM, as we are extremely proud of our commitment to China and have proven it through offering a growing number of vehicles to meet the needs of Chinese customers."

Manchester United Partnership

As part of its five-year deal with Manchester United, Chevrolet will explore several activations intended to bring supporters closer to the club, including sharing with fans some of the assets Chevrolet receives as a sponsor. Ultimately, the intent is to put the fans at the center of the partnership and provide them once in a lifetime access to the game they love.

"To be a truly respected global brand, you must inspire consumers," Ewanick said. "Few brands, if any, can match the ability to inspire people everywhere as Manchester United. Our partnership will require a unique and absolute commitment – to the team, to its supporters and to everyone who loves football. The Chevrolet family is fully committed to the goal of affecting positive change through this sponsorship."

One World Futbol Project

Jahnigen, who created the virtually indestructible One World Futbol, started the One World Futbol Project in 2010 with crucial support from his friend, international music legend Sting. Unlike any inflatable ball on the market, the One World Futbol never needs a pump and never goes flat, even when punctured multiple times. A single One World Futbol can outlast and outplay hundreds of regular soccer balls, sustaining the power of play even in the harshest landscapes.

The One World Futbol Project works with groups and companies all around the world to purchase, sponsor, and distribute its unique football where it can support lasting play. Individuals can also purchase a One World Futbol through a "Buy One Give One" program on the One World Futbol Project website. The purchase of a ball triggers the donation of another ball to organizations working in disadvantaged communities around the world. Those wishing to make donations only or purchase balls for their organization can also do so through the Project website.

About Chevrolet

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at For more information about Chevrolet's football initiative, visit

About Manchester United

Manchester United is the world's most popular football club, with an estimated 659 million fans and followers, and was recently named by Forbes magazine as the most valuable sports club in the world. Founded in 1878, the Club has won a record 19 English league championships to add to its record 11 English FA Cups, 3 European Cups, 1 European Cup Winners' Cup, 1 FIFA Club World Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup and 4 English League Cups. Its Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, is the most successful manager in British history. Off the field, the Club enjoys similar success with record turnover for a British club and the highest operating profit levels in world football.

About the One World Futbol Project

Launched in July 2010, the One World Futbol Project developed the One World Futbol – the world's first virtually indestructible ball that never needs a pump and never goes flat. For every ball bought at retail, the company donates a second ball to a community in need. The company also sells the One World Futbol directly to institutions and organizations, and works with schools, football teams, clubs and other organizations to help them raise funds while generating donated balls at the same time. The One World Futbol Project is headquartered in Berkeley, California. To date, it has reached out to more than 137 countries through at least 138 organizations, keeping the spirit of play alive for an estimated 525,000 children and young people. For more information about the One World Futbol Project, visit  Follow us on Facebook, and Twitter,

SOURCE General Motors