English Premiership

United strike deal in Pakistan

2011-10-25 16:18
Manchester United (File)

Islamabad - Manchester United hopes to reach their estimated 10 million fans in Pakistan after striking a three-year deal with a telecom company on Tuesday.

The deal with Zong will give United fans in Pakistan a chance to watch goals, exclusive interviews and news from Old Trafford.

United manager Alex Ferguson said in a statement that the telecom company "will be a key player in allowing us to bring the passion and excitement of Manchester United to our fans in Pakistan."

In a cricket-mad country of 180 million, football is gradually gaining popularity with youngsters in urban areas even staying up late to watch their favourite players in action in the Premier League.

Football's popularity is growing in part because a cable subscription for around 200 rupees ($2.50) a month gives viewers access to most major football league matches played around the world.

United's commercial director Richard Arnold said Zong would help the club "to communicate directly with millions of our supporters" in Pakistan.

"Using our digital assets to engage our global fan base is an increasingly important part of our commercial strategy and we are very excited about the possibilities presented by this partnership."

Zong's advertising director Rizwan Akhter added that the partnership with United "is one of a kind coming from Pakistan and the initiative that Zong has taken to team up with a giant like Manchester United will only lead to prosperity, growth and triumph."

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