Manchester United has further enhanced its roster of overseas partners by agreeing three-year sponsorship deals with China Construction Bank (CCB) and soft drinks manufacturer Wahaha.

As part of the agreements, United’s first with a Chinese bank and soft drinks firm, CCB will hold the rights exclusively to produce the official club-branded credit card in mainland China. The CCB Manchester United Credit Card will offer Chinese United fans various club-related incentives. CCB will be marketing the card to its almost 102 million personal banking customers in mainland China.

Manchester United’s commercial director Richard Arnold said: “Manchester United has a huge following in China of 108 million. We know from our visits there, including to Shanghai last summer, that our Chinese followers have always been among the most supportive. As China’s fiscal and industrial strength continues to grow, it is establishing itself as a leader in the global economy and the place for businesses to invest. In 80 major cities in China, CCB have almost 60% of all branches, making them the ideal partner to connect with our fans.

Together with our TV and mobile partners, financial services products give us tangible ways of providing real benefits to our fans that enable them to establish a closer relationship with their favourite team.”

Wahaha has been the largest beverage producer in China for the past 11 years, with branded products including milk drinks, soft drinks, energy drinks, bottled water, bottled tea, fruit juice, porridges and yoghurt beverages. It will become United’s first official soft drinks partner in China. Wahaha CEO Zong Qinghou said: “The partnership between China’s largest beverage company and the world’s top English football club is an inspiring and huge development for Wahaha. This year is a milestone year for the company. The announcement of partnering with Manchester United represents a perfect opening paragraph in the next chapter of our history.”

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