While Pep Guardiola’s Cityzens cruised their way to a third Premier League title in four years, their season ended on a bitter note as their Holy Grail, the Champions League trophy, fell from their grasp at the very last hurdle. This season, the Sky Blues venture once again into the unknown, hoping to finally bring home the Big Ears this time round. Here are City’s official Partners going into the 2021-22 season.
Following are the companies and organisations that are enjoying a strong branding presence across Manchester City’s physical and digital assets.
Etihad Airways – Man City’s decade-long deal with Etihad Airways went into its final year ahead of the 2020-21 season. Reportedly worth £67.5m per year, the deal has brought about a new outlook to the way sports sponsorship deals are made and scrutinised.
Back in 2011, Etihad became the principal sponsor of Man City, acquiring not only the front space of the club’s kits but also the right for the name of their stadium; what was then called the City of Manchester Stadium came to eponymously be called the Etihad.
The Etihad deal has undoubtedly been fundamental in the turn of fortunes City have had over the last decade. When the deal came into being, City were just being touted as the next big prospect. Ten years later, they have five Premier League titles, six League Cups, and two FA Cups, looking forever upwards. The City footballing campus has also been revamped – from the area surrounding the stadium to the new training complex.
The finances of the deal have always been under major scrutiny. Most recently, City owners faced the infamous legal battle against UEFA who accused them of illegally putting money into the club’s coffers, with their fingers pointed to the Etihad sponsorship. While City manage to swat away the allegation, it doesn’t change the fact that the Etihad deal remains shrouded in controversy.
Puma – Man City ended a six-year association with Nike and signed German sportswear giant Puma as their official kit supplier in February 2019, with the deal kicking off with the 2019-20 season.
The deal is reportedly worth £650m over ten years and also covers Man City’s sister clubs in Australia (Melbourne City FC), Spain (Girona FC), Uruguay (Montevideo City Torque) and China (Sichuan Jiuniu FC).
Etisalat – Etisalat, an Abu Dhabi-headquartered telecom company, has been City’s telecommunications partner since November 2009 for the countries Etisalat operates in. Back in 2009, Etisalat was City’s third global sponsorship appointment after Etihad and Umbro, aimed by the City owners to expand their reach worldwide. Regardless to say, both parties have enjoyed a successful run.
In February 2020, Etisalat also became the official sleeve sponsor for the club’s esports team.
Nissan – The Yokohama-headquartered Japanese automobile manufacturer has been City’s Official Automotive Sponsor since July 2014. The deal has granted Nissan in-ground branding at the Eithad and exclusive fan engagement opportunities.
The two parties extended their deal in July 2019 to also include City Football Group’s (CFG) other clubs in the US (New York City FC) and Australia (Melbourne City FC).
Visit Abu Dhabi – Man City struck a sponsorship deal with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority back in May 2010 as their official destination partner.
The deal was put in place by the club’s Emirati owners with an aim to market the UAE as a prime tourism and business destination.
Nexen Tire – Partners since 2015, Nexen and Man City made history in March 2017 when the Yangsan-based Korean tyre manufacturer became the first ever sleeve sponsor of a Premier League club. The two have also engaged in digital content collaborations while promoting football on a grassroots level.
The deal was renewed ahead of the start of 2020-21 season to include the club’s women’s and esports teams as well. The last renewal between the club and Nexen was announced in August 2021, covering the 2021-22 season.
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Marathonbet – Marathonbet initially signed on as City’s official global betting partner in June 2018. The deal was later expanded in December 2019, making the betting company the club’s first ever training kit partner, rendering their logo emblazoned across the training kits of Man City’s senior men’s and women’s teams.
EA Sports – EA Sports has been a long-time Official Gaming Partner of Man City. Since September 2019, it has served as the Official Gaming Partner to all CFG clubs that feature in its annual release of football simulation game, FIFA.
The deal sees EA Sports produce exclusive content for the clubs’ social media channels as well as exclusive club-themed FIFA packages. EA’s deal with the Premier League sees the company hold exclusive rights to feature City’s licensing, which includes real-life likeness of players, kits and stadium, in its annual FIFA release.
Cisco – Manchester City and Cisco have been partners since 2013. Their deal was revamped in October 2019 when the CFG expanded Cisco’s association with City’s other sister clubs – New York City, Melbourne City, Yokohama F. Marinos and Sichuan Jiuniu as their Official Technology Partner.
As per the deal, Cisco strives to enhance connectivity between the clubs, players and fans by the virtue of technology, and use sport for global positive reinforcement through CFG’s global youth empowerment initiative, Cityzens Giving.
Wix – The Tel Aviv-based Israeli web development platform is the Official Website Design & Hosting Partner for three of CFG’s clubs – Manchester City, Melbourne City and New York City FC – since February 2016.
Apart from branding rights, the deal also sees the two parties work on several co-branded campaigns, with Wix getting access to City’s roster of superstar personalities for promotional purposes.
QNET – The Hong Kong-based multi-level marketing company has been Man City’s Official Direct Selling Partner since 2014. The two last renewed their deal in August 2019 in a five-year agreement, which sees QNET continue to provide City-led soccer clinics to communities around the world and engage with consumers and distributors through various club channels.
Socios.com – City signed a multi-year deal with cryptocurrency-based fan engagement platform Socios, which is powered by Gzira, Malta-based blockchain fintech provider Chiliz, in March 2021 to launch their own Fan Token.
Via Socios, City offer their fans a chance to obtain Fan Tokens ($CITY) that allow them to participate in several club-oriented activities. These Fan Tokens are limited in number and can be bought, sold or won in an augmented reality in-game.
Expo 2020 Dubai – The delayed World Expo became City’s Official Exhibition Partner in June 2021 in a deal that covers the club’s men’s, women’s and esports teams, as well as their sister clubs – New York City FC, Melbourne City, Yokohama F. Marinos and Mumbai City.
The deal will be dedicated to promoting the World Expo, which is currently scheduled to be held from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.
Tecno – The Shenzhen-based Chinese mobile company has been City’s Official Global Tablet and Handset Partner since 2016, a deal the two parties last renewed in July 2019.
As per the deal, the two parties collaborate over fan engagement activities, producing fan-led content as well as matchday ticket opportunities.
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SAP – The Walldorf-based German software corporation is the Official Cloud Software Provider and technology advisor to Man City and their sister clubs New York City FC, Melbourne City and Yokohama F. Marinos.
The deal sees SAP provide cloud-based software solutions, stats analytics and fan engagement improvement to CFG’s clubs. In turn, the company gains exposure through CFG’s social media channels and access to its clubs’ rosters for promotional adverts.
Unilever – Man City signed a multi-year global sponsorship with Unliver-owned anti-perspirant brand Rexona in August 2018.
As per the deal, Unilever benefits from the partnership by getting to promote Sure (Rexona’s UK trade name) in the British market with City-themed packaging. Its products are also available for sale at the Etihad.
Unilever’s deal with Man City extends to their American sister club New York City FC, which Unilever leverages to promote Degree (Rexona’s US trade name) in the US market with NYCFC-themed packaging.
Axi – The Sydney-headquartered online trading company became City’s Official Online Trading Partner in September 2020 on a multi-year deal.
The deal is focused on creating brand awareness for Axi, who has rebranded from “AxiTrader”, via branding across City’s assets, digital co-branded content on the City website, and offerings to fans in the form of exclusive experience opportunities.
JNC – Chinese liquor manufacturer JNC has been City’s official baijiu partner since May 2019. Apart from branding rights, the deal also sees the two collaborating over several consumer and marketing campaigns.
Xylem – Xylem, a Rye Brook, New York-based American water tech provider, is Man City’s official water technology partner since July 2018, a deal extended to the club’s women’s team and sister club New York City FC.
Through the partnership, Xylem aims to raise awareness about the global water challenges and work with the club improve access to clean water in global communities.
Hays – The London-based recruitment and human resources services provider is the Official Recruitment Partner of Man City since 2013, a partnership the two renewed in April 2019 which also made Hays an official sponsor of the team’s overseas tours.
As per the deal, Hays works with the club to produce digital content for the club’s audiences globally. The current deal between the two parties is set to run until 2023.
Gatorade – Gatorade is Man City’s Official Sports Nutrition Partner since November 2017, a deal the two extended in March 2019 to include the club’s women’s team as well.
As per the deal, Gatorade gets in-ground branding at the Etihad as well as bespoke dugout branding for the women’s team’s WSL matches at the Academy Stadium. City’s players and staff are also provided Gatorade’s products and “cutting-edge science” through the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI).
Midea – The Beijiao-based Chinese home appliance giant first signed a global partnership with Man City in January 2020. This was expanded in January 2021 to also include City’s women’s team and sister club, New York City FC.
Apart from branding rights, the deal sees Midea develop digital campaigns with the club across their social media channels.
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UBTECH Robotics – The Shenzhen-based Chinese robot manufacturer has been City’s Official Robot Partner since 2016, a deal that was renewed in August 2018.
As per the deal, the two parties engage in enhancing the club’s fan experience and work on entertainment initiatives.
Wega – Payment solutions company Wega is City’s Oﬃcial Acoustic Contactless Secured Card Payment Partner since 2015. The two last renewed their partnership in May 2019.
As per the deal, the two parties work on providing club-themed fan opportunities to Wega’s prepaid card users. Wega also launched a bespoke app for the club, the City Wega app, that offers the City fans opportunities for exclusive, unique experiences.
Unilumin Sports – The Shenzhen-headquartered Chinese sports-oriented LED display solutions provider was announced as City’s Official LED Display Partner in January 2021.
Apart from branding rights, the deal sees Unilumin’s range of LEDs installed along the pitchside at the Etihad.
Dsquared2 – Italian clothing brand Dsquared2 has been a part of City’s sponsorship portfolio since October 2016.
As per the deal, Dsquared2 is tasked with dressing City players and staff for their Champions League outings, as well as producing club-themed merchandise.
Acronis – The Schaffhausen-based Swiss cloud software company has been the Official Data Backup and Storage Partner of City since November 2018.
As per the deal, Acronis assists City in managing and safeguarding their data, as well as providing metrics ranging from player performances to business operations.
Vejo – Health and wellness brand Vejo has been City’s Official Smart Blending Device Partner since October 2019.
Apart from making club-themed blenders and kits, the deal allows Vejo’s doctors, dieticians and researchers to work with City’s nutritionists to help develop personalised diet plans and specialised pod-based blended food for the players.
Therabody – The Los Angeles, California-headquartered tech-based natural wellness solutions provider signed a deal with the CFG to become the Official Recovery Partner of Manchester City, Melbourne City, Sichuan Jiuniu FC and Mumbai City in February 2021. Apart from branding rights, the deal sees Therabody’s products made available across the aforementioned clubs’ training facilities to help the players with training optimisation, reducing injury risks and accelerated recovery.
SCM (Salento Creazioni Moda) – The Italian women’s high-end fashion brand has been the Official Formalwear Partner of City’s women’s team since January 2021, providing bespoke formalwear to the first-team players.
Citibank – New York-based financial company Citi is the official banking partner of Man City since May 2015.
Apart from the usual marketing rights, Citi also provides support for City Football Schools, the club’s football participation programme for kids.
Nestlé – In October 2019, Man City and Nestlé signed a multi-year deal which saw the Vevey-based Swiss multinational food and drink processing conglomerate become the Official Coffee, Vegan and Vegetarian Partner of the club – a first for an English topflight club.
The deal sees Nestlé provide matchday opportunities for its customers and City fans, and also sees its plant-based products sold at the Etihad and the club’s academy stadia.
Khmer Beverages – The Phnom Penh-based Combodian brewery is the club’s official beer partner in south-east Asia since October 2017. The brewery also serves as City’s official water, soft drinks and energy drink partner in Cambodia.
Kaiwen – Kaiwen was announced as a Regional Partner of the club in December 2017. The Beijing-based academy launched Kaiwen Manchester City Football School in partnership with Manchester City in 2018.
As part of the deal, City Football Schools takes charge of providing bespoke football training to Kaiwen’s aspiring footballers which is delivered alongside the traditional curriculum.
Select students from the Kaiwen Academy also get the opportunity to travel to the UK every year and train at the City Football Academy.
SHB – Man City signed a sponsorship deal with Saigon Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB), which made the bank City’s official affinity card partner in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, in July 2014.
The deal sees City branding in multiple SHB branches as well as meet-and-greet opportunities for SHB customers and City fans. SHB also launched the first City-themed debit card in Asia.
Heineken – Dutch brewery Heineken renewed its 20-year-old partnership with Man City in December 2016. It continues to serve as the Official UK Beer Partner of the club.
Apart from branding rights, the deal also gives Heineken pouring rights at the Etihad for its beer and cider brands, which include Foster’s, Heineken, Strongbow, Bulmers, Amstel and John Smith’s.
Power Horse – City signed Austrian energy drink brand Power Horse as their Official Energy Drink Partner in December 2018, covering the territories in Africa and the Middle East, including Turkey.
The deal sees Power Horse promote the City brand with exclusive City-themed drinks.
Star Beer – Nigerian beer brand Star Beer has been City’s Official Beer Partner in Nigeria since September 2016.
The deal sees Star promote the City brand across the country and offer City fans in Nigeria exclusive prizes such as matchday experiences.
Healthpoint – Abu Dhabi-based hospital Healthpoint serves as the club’s regional healthcare partner since November 2014.
As per the deal, the City medical staff hosts seminars on best training practices in sports medicine and offer internship opportunities to Healthpoint sports medicine professionals.
The two parties last signed an extension in August 2021. The deal currently runs until the end of the 2022-23 season.
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PZ Cussons – The Manchester-based British manufacturer of personal healthcare products and consumer goods has its soap brand, Premier Cool, serve as City’s Official Personal Care Partner in Nigeria since 2015. The two parties last extended their partnership in August 2019.
As part of the deal, City aim to increase their brand value among the Nigeria fanbase, with Premier Cool providing on-pack promotion and club-themed personal care products, as well as hosting football training sessions across the country with the help of City’s coaches.
First Abu Dhabi Bank – UAE-based First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) is the club’s Official Affinity Credit Card Bank Partner. As part of the deal, the bank has also launched first-ever Manchester City Credit Card in the UAE, which offers its customers several club-specific benefits.
Intel – Man City signed a multi-year deal with Intel Sports in 2019. This deal was then extended in June 2020.
As part of the deal, City employs Intel’s True View technology to offer an immersive highlights package to their fans, offering multi-angle camera replays, player-eye views, and a personalised way to explore the game, with the help of the Intel cameras installed at the Etihad that map every move in 3D.
Cadbury – In August 2020, Man City signed a multi-year deal with Mondelēz that saw its confectionary brand, Cadbury, become the club’s Official Snacking Partner in the UK, Republic of Ireland, China, United States, India, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Brazil and the UAE.
The initial focus of the collaboration was on celebrating the people and organisations who contributed immensely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Apart from this, Cadbury has also been offering exclusive fan opportunities to its customers in the aforementioned regions.
Laybuy – In August 2020, Man City signed New Zealand-based payment platform Laybuy as their Official Buy Now, Pay Later Partner in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
The deal sees the Laybuy service model becoming a payment option in City’s retail offerings, which enables consumers to spread transaction costs into six, interest-free weekly repayments.
The deal also offers Laybuy’s customers exclusive opportunities to meet City legends.
Capstone Games – Chinese mobile game developer Capstone Games became City’s Official Casual Mobile Game Partner in Asia Pacific, North America and the UK in July 2020.
Apart from branding rights, the deal entails the Beijing-based company releasing a football manager-style mobile game with licensed City players, kits and stadium.
Animoca Brands – The Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming brand signed a deal with the CFG in December 2020 that made the company the Official NFT & Fan Tokens Partner of Manchester City’s men’s and women’s teams as well as their sister club, Melbourne City.
The deal sees Animoca publish a series of digital assets, collectibles, mini-games and unique gaming experiences based on the two CFG clubs.
Zurich International Life – Headquartered in the Isle of Man, the life insurance company signed a regional partnership deal with the CFG, becoming Man City’s Official Insurance Partner in the UAE, in January 2021.
Apart from branding rights, the deal entails digital and esports activations.
Noon.com – Based Dubai, Noon.com is a digital marketplace dedicated to local businesses in the Middle East. The platform was announced as Man City’s Official Online Marketplace Partner in the Middle East in April 2021.
Apart from branding rights, the partnership is aimed at increasing City’s fan engagement in the Middle East.
ABeam Consulting – The Tokyo-based management consulting firm was announced as Man City’s Official Management Consulting Services Partner in Japan in August 2021.
The deal entails the two parties working together to increase City’s customer base across Japan and the southeast Pacific market.