James Chapman & Co advises Man U on £30m sponsorship

James Chapman & Co is advising Manchester United on a £30m sponsorship deal, which it claims is the largest ever for any sports club.

The world's biggest telecommunications company Vodafone has signed a four-year deal worth £7.5m a year.

Its sponsorship will include mobile phone and internet access to the team's supporters and the right to use the Old Trafford club's brand.

Manchester United's previous sponsor, electrical manufacturer Sharp, had performed this role for 18 years. It relinquishes to Vodafone in June.

Maurice Watkins, senior partner of James Chapman and a director of Manchester United, leads the deal. Sports rights specialist Jason Smith is assisting him.

Vodafone is being represented by its in-house team, led by company solicitor Jacqueline Barrett.

Watkins says: “This is the largest club sponsorship in the world. I mean sporting club, not just football.

“This deal represents a fantastic business opportunity. Manchester United's brand strength is unparalleled and it will be some time before this record deal is beaten.”