The Big House resides in Ann Arbor, MI, and is home to the University of Michigan Wolverines. This past weekend however, it played host to the International Champions Cup and the two most valuable franchises in sports, Manchester United and Real Madrid. Both teams are laden with the world’s top players — Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez, among others — and when they showed up in Michigan this past weekend, there wasn’t an empty seat in the Big House.
The crowd of 109,318 on hand Saturday set a new attendance record for soccer in the United States. To put that record-setting number in perspective, the finals of the International Champions Cup held in Miami on Monday, had less than half the number of fans. University of Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon called the match a “win, win, win” for Michigan and the city of Ann Arbor. The match was broadcast live in over 160 countries, showcasing the University and its stadium to soccer fans around the world.
With so many fans watching live and on television, Chevy gained tremendous exposure with its logo on Manchester United’s jerseys. The company signed a seven-year $559 million deal in 2012 to replace AON as the team’s jersey sponsor. The Manchester United jersey is considered “the most hallowed real estate in soccer” and the International Champions Cup matches signal the first opportunity for the club to show off its new sponsor. With the exposure from this past weekend, one can begin to see how Chevy will receive a meaningful return on its considerable investment in the global soccer giant.