The Egyptian Al-Ahly Club’s announcement of the United Sports Company’s acquisition of the club’s exclusive marketing rights for the next 4 seasons sparked great controversy on social media.
While users and fans of the ancient club saw that this contract would not be in the interest of the most famous Egyptian club in the country and might limit the freedom of its decisions regarding player and coach deals, others saw that the financial contract with the United Company would not affect the technical management of the team.
Mahmoud Al-Khatib, Chairman of the Al-Ahly Club Board of Directors, announced the approval of the offer submitted by the United Company to market Al-Ahly club sponsorship contracts during the next four years.
Al-Ahly club said on its official website: “The Board of Directors of Al-Ahly Club decided to adopt the United Company as the exclusive marketer of the rights to sponsorship of the football sector for a period of 4 seasons, starting from the 2022/2023 season until 2025/2026, in accordance with the sales and marketing policies that have been agreed upon.”
Al-Ahly’s current contract with Presentation Company, which obtained the rights to sponsor Al-Ahly in October 2018, for 510 million pounds, has expired for a period of four years, ending with the end of the current football season.
The Al-Ahly Council received many offers to sponsor the football team, but the board of directors agreed to grant sponsorship rights to the United Sports Company.
The contract includes football team sponsorship, broadcast rights, sponsorship rights, licensed merchandise and products, advertising during matches as well as first-team clothing.
Controversy on social media
Social networking sites were buzzing with controversy after the brief announcement of the contract between the United Company and the management of Al-Ahly Club, as some saw that the decision amounted to a “state ownership contract for the club.”
Some suggested that the club “donate a portion of its revenues to the state in order to shorten the situation.”
While some questioned the reality of contracting, is it a “right of care” or “marketing and obtaining a percentage”?
While others saw that “the state wants to benefit financially from the big clubs.”
Defenders of the deal
On the other hand, tweeters defended the new contract between Al-Ahly Club and the United Company, stressing that the contract is “marketing and concerns financial matters only.”
While some saw that “cooperation between the two sides is a good thing,” but they alluded to “political and security considerations.”
Others also praised the deal, calling it a “big achievement.”
Experts: “United Company the Biggest Winner”
The BBC Trend blog spoke with Riyadh critic Mahmoud Al-Bahi, to clarify the details and dimensions of the deal and what is being circulated on social media.
– I asked him first: Is the United Sports Company the United Media Company?
Al-Bahi explained that the United Sports Company is affiliated with the United Media Services Company, but it has a board of directors that is completely different from the parent United Company.
He added that what was new in the sponsorship contract this time was that it did not specify the financial compensation for the sponsorship contract, but only specified the term.
He explained that in the past, mentioning the financial compensation in previous seasons was a source of pride for the club that it had received a certain financial compensation in exchange for sponsorship, but the club did not announce any financial compensation this time, apart from the numbers circulated through social networking sites.
–if, Who benefits from this deal?
Any economic entity is the first beneficiary of the Al-Ahly club’s sponsorship, despite its loss of sports tournaments this year, but it remains the most famous team in Egypt and the Arab world, given its large fan base.
–Why did Al-Ahly club sign with the United Company in particular?
Al-Ahly club management had no other choice than the United Company, otherwise it would have been announced. The reason may be the global financial crisis that occurred after the Corona epidemic and then the Russian-Ukrainian war, which cast a shadow over the Egyptian economy, in addition to the instability of the Egyptian league and the cohesion of seasons.
–Is there a relationship between the resignation of the football company and the contract with the United Company?
I think that there is some relationship and disagreements about marketing, contracts, the number of deals, how to manage the football team and the current technical director, and what reinforced these speculations is that the announcement of the contract with the United Company came after the resignation of the football company.
The United Company is a marketing intermediary, as it gives Al-Ahly Club a certain amount of money agreed upon in accordance with the text of the contract between them, and at the same time it brings advertisements to the team and obtains a percentage of it.
–There are those who say aWith this contract, the United Company puts its hands on Al-Ahly Club, so what do you think?
This is not true, because the company has nothing to do with managing the team technically, as it does not control the number of deals or the fate of a technical director.
The relationship between it and the Al-Ahly club’s management is financial only. As for technical matters and the strength of players and coaches, they are subject to other oversight from other bodies, such as the Ministry of Youth and Sports, or the Central Auditing Organization in the event of violations.
–On the other hand, there are those who say: aThe state supports Al-Ahly club with this contract, What do you think?
What is being said is the enthusiasm of the masses on social media, because the management of Al-Ahly Club, in the midst of the economic crisis that surrounds us, and the lack of better offers, had no choice but to agree to this contract.
And if there is a saying that the state supports Al-Ahly club, on the other hand there are those who say that the state gave Zamalek the league championship, and if this is the case, which is better for Zamalek: to gift it a championship or give it marketing offers that strengthen its financial position so that it can contract with the best players and coaches ?
The United Media Services Company appeared in 2016 and is a holding company under which a group of companies working in the media field fall. The company provides its services mainly in the Egyptian media market, in its various aspects and in an integrated manner. It has included Presentation Sports, which raised the financial value of the advertising market in Egypt to 5 times what it was.
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