Manchester United Football Club is to hire a corporate PR firm in a
bid to improve its community relations. Sources say the football club is
keen to promote a more positive image to both local and national
supporters and sponsors.
Despite, or perhaps as a result of, recently being voted the world’s
most profitable football club, Manchester believes it suffers from a
negative public image.
This was recently reinforced by BSkyB’s controversial failed bid to gain
a controlling share in the club. The need to improve community relations
was highlighted during the bid process, with supporters forming their
own groups to lobby against the deal.
Two PR firms are known to have pitched for the contract, expected to
carry fees close to pounds 100,000. In the past month, Harrison Cowley
and Manchester-based Communique PR have been in discussions with the
club. Communique is now pitching against Freud Communications. An
announcement is expected imminently.
This is the first time Manchester United has approached an outside
agency to handle its corporate PR.