Man Utd helps out hometown in US tourism campaign

LONDON - Manchester United and tourism partnership, Marketing Manchester, have linked up to promote the city as a holiday destination, with efforts getting under way during the team's pre-season tour of the US.

This is the first time the promotional body has linked up with Manchester United for one of its pre-season friendly world tours. Events so far have included a drinks reception, held yesterday prior to the team's match against German side, Bayern Munich, in Chicago, which they lost on penalties.

Marketing Manchester's chief executive, Andrew Stokes, and head of tourism development, Mike Todd, are in the US as part of this latest push, which also involves Visit Britain.

It is also expected that the football team and Marketing Manchester will link up in the coming months to produce joint PR campaigns, which will include promoting the club's soccer school, museum and conference facilities.

A Marketing Manchester spokeswoman said: "Manchester United is a brand name with unparalleled international recognition. Marketing Manchester is currently in the process of exploring a comprehensive marketing and communications project to look at how to more effectively link the wider destination with this global awareness.

"It would be beneficial for the city and region to capitalise on [Man Utd's] brand penetration to push the wider Manchester destination."

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