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Saudi Telecom has concluded its second major football sponsorship deal in the space of a week after signing a five-year extension to its agreement with Manchester United.

Saudi Telecom has concluded its second major football sponsorship deal in the space of a week after signing a five-year extension to its agreement with Manchester United.

The deal, covering the 2013-14 to 2017-18 seasons, will allow the Saudi-based company to evolve from an official telecommunications partner to ‘official triple play partner’, covering Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait, while also holding triple play rights in Turkey for the first year of the agreement. As official triple play partner, STC will bring United’s dedicated television channel, MUTV, to the Gulf region for the first time with the exclusive rights to distribute MUTV via its television, online and mobile services in these territories. STC has partnered the English Premier League champion since 2008.

STC’s United deal comes after the company on Friday signed a five-year extension to its sponsorship contract with Real Madrid, also from 2013-14 to 2017-18. STC board of directors member and chairman of the investment committee, Mohammed Al Dhoheyan, said: “There is a lot of potential to grow the sports rights market in the Middle East, and this deal will ensure that STC continues to lead the way in this sector.  STC continues to focus on the growing youth population and sport is one of its key ways to reach out to them, not just in KSA but also across the Middle East region. Sports marketing is an untapped area and offers huge growth opportunities for regional organisations and this will be a key growth area for STC in the coming months.”

Manchester United group managing director, Richard Arnold, added: “Like Manchester United, STC has demonstrated its desire to lead the way in its industry. STC was the first of our partners to launch an official Manchester United mobile app and to bring MUTV to nearly four million United followers in these countries. The renewal of our partnership will greatly benefit our fans, as STC continues to develop new ways to bring them closer to the club they so passionately support.”

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