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The Manchester United marketing machine continues to hum

Nov 14, 2013, 12:20 PM EDT

Britain Soccer Premier League AP

Off the field, at least, Manchester United continues to dominate the competition after reports from the club’s first three months of its financial year revealed record revenue of $158 million (£98.5m).

The success came after a 63% jump in sponsorship income wherein 12 new sponsorship deals were signed (including massive deals with Aeroloft and Pepsi), as well as a 41% jump in broadcast revenue ($30.1 million (£19.3m) this quarter), and a 13.8% increase in licensing of clothing and other product ($17.2 million (£10.7m) this quarter).

The 29% total increase in revenue has the club bullish on what it could take in over the course of the entire year, with forecasts currently standing at $674-690 million (£420-430m). At that amount of money, United would gain serious ground on Europe’s two wealthiest clubs, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, assessed the on-and-off pitch situation: “Manchester United’s stuttering start to the domestic season is in stark contrast to its performance off the field. There are some causes for concern, such as the steep percentage rises in operating expenses generally, and staff costs in particular.”

Yet while the share price would inevitably be affected by the club’s on-field performance, “there is no sign of the Manchester United marketing machine beating a retreat.”

Despite a rocky beginning of the season, United are unbeaten in their last seven matches in all competitions and currently sit 5th in the Premier League table, five points behind leaders Arsenal.

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