Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi has denied that the Malta Tourism Authority is set to pay €20 million for its recent major sponsorship deal with Premier League football team Manchester United.
“Good morning,” Mizzi posted on social media today. “We woke up to another invented story, the usual false stories. This meaningless and extraordinary figure is another lie. A good day to all.”
The €20 million figure was revealed by the Times of Malta, who quoted a source saying MTA would be paying €20 million over three years for the exclusive rights to be Manchester United’s sole destination partner.
The Head of Marketing at the Ministry of Tourism similarly laughed off the multi-million figure
When asked by Lovin Malta, an MTA official denied the figure, but refused to reveal the actual number as it would be “commercially sensitive due to its global relevance”.
MTA have since released a statement reacting to the €20 million figure:
“The article is clearly based on the journalist’s own speculation and assumptions, in an attempt to create a negative aura around the partnership agreement concluded between the Ministry for Tourism, Visit Malta and Manchester United. Although the cost of the actual partnership is commercially sensitive, the figure invented by the said journalist is a complete fabrication and nowhere close to the actual committed funding, which is in line with the Malta Tourism Authority’s marketing budget. This inevitable conclusion is that the Times of Malta’s article is fake news.”
“As part of this commercial agreement, the Government will be getting extensive sponsorship rights to advertise the VisitMalta brand on a number of channels including adverts at Old Trafford (the Manchester United Stadium) in all home matches, the club’s print media, the club’s digital platforms, the club’s social media, the club’s official Television Station, and other direct marketing. Moreover, contrary to “traditional” marketing/advertising agreements, the Government has gained the right to use the Manchester United brand (crest) for such advertisements. We believe that this is the most crucial element of this partnership since partnering with such a strong brand should bring about several add-on benefits, especially in terms of improved customer recognition to Visit Malta and to enhancing our overall credibility especially in regions across Asia and the US. As part of the benefits stipulated in the deal, Malta will also get access to a number of first-team players and legends.”
“Apart from “riding” on the strength of such a strong brand, we will also benefit from the expertise of the extensive marketing team and technological means which the club has at its disposal, especially in monitoring the performance of our outreach and in tailor-making our messages according to the targeted regions and the fan-base profiles. We will plan our campaigns together with the club and track its effectiveness along the way.”
Manchester United does not usually reveal the price they are paid for sponsorship deals.
MTA has stated that the price they paid was within their budget, and have noted that due to the sponsorship, the Visit Malta brand will be shown around the world on channels, adverts in Old Trafford during home games, Manchester United print media, as well as the club’s TV and digital platforms.