Rooney & Manchester United mark season-opener with name-swap stunt

The newly-appointed captain and his team-mates took to the Old Trafford pitch with the names of 11 young mascots on the back of their new Chevrolet-sponsored shirts

Manchester United's players walked out for their opening match of the season against Swansea with the names of 11 young mascots from around the world on the back of their shirts as part of a special event organised by Chevrolet.

The children travelled from countries around the world including Brazil, India and South Africa to be matchday mascots for Louis van Gaal's first competitive game in charge at Old Trafford.

As a special surprise, their own names were on the new Chevrolet-sponsored home shirts of their heroes as they walked out to 75,000 supporters before kick-off. The jerseys were then presented to the mascots as a gift.

The mascots' once-in-a-lifetime experience is part of Chevrolet's 'What Do You #PlayFor?' campaign to spread football and the power of play to areas of the world that need it the most.

“We brought 11 children from around the world to Manchester to let them experience first-hand how the power of play can create hope, optimism and possibilities not just inside Old Trafford, but back in their communities as well,” said Tim Mahoney, Global Chevrolet's chief marketing officer.

“Chevrolet’s partnership with Manchester United is about using the passion for this sport to make a positive impact around the world and inspire football fans everywhere.”

He added: “Seeing the reactions to today’s historical moment from the mascots, players and fans was a perfect way to kick off Chevrolet’s first season as Manchester United’s shirt sponsor. When it comes to bringing people closer to the sport, today we raised the bar.”

The children, who are aged between 10 and 12 and are from Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, South Africa, South Korea and the United States, were selected for their determination and ability to overcome a variety of challenges.

As well as their matchday experience, each mascot has this week attended a Manchester United Soccer School, met club legends and received a tour of Old Trafford.

“It was a pleasure to welcome all 11 mascots to Old Trafford and our players were proud to walk out onto the pitch with them today,” said Richard Arnold, managing director of the Manchester United Group.

“In the two years since announcing its partnership with Manchester United, Chevrolet has embraced the club’s desire to connect with its 659 million global followers, coming up with new and exciting ways to do this.

“Today’s activity demonstrates their ingenuity at doing this and we helped capture the imagination of our fans around the world.”

To find out more about the mascots' stories and upload a picture of yourself in the new United shirt, visit