February 12 – Vodafone Signs Manchester United, Conrad Born

David Beckham wearing the new vodafone sponsored jersey

David Beckham wearing the new vodafone sponsored jersey

After 18 years with Sharp as their team jersey sponsor, Manchester United decided to make a change on the front of their jersey when they signed with Vodafone on this day in soccer history in 2000.

The $48 millions deal was the most lucrative in British soccer at the time and took the bidding for top team jerseys by prominent companies to a new level.  The deal was extended and reached the $15.5 millions per year but eventually was replaced after the 2005/06 campaign by AIG.

At the time the agreement with Vodafone was the 5th most lucrative in European football.  Juventus led the way with their sponsorship of Tamoil SA at $26 million per year followed by Real Mardid’s Siemens’ deal, Bayern Munich’s T-Mobile and Chelsea’s Samsung.

The move came at a difficult time for the Red Devils.  Long time captain Roy Keane was on the outs while American investor Malcolm Glazer was on the way in after a $1.4. billion hostile purchase of the team.

The announcement ended the sponsorship two years early by mutual agreement.

“The Manchester United shirt is the most iconic in sport,” United commercial director Andy Anson said. “The club feels that in the current market there is a genuine chance to attract significant additional investment.”

Jimmy Conrad Born

After being passed over by Major League Soccer after graduating from college, Jimmy Conrad did not give up on his dream and after a stint in the A-League worked his way up to MLS and the United States men’s national soccer team.  And it was on this day in soccer history in 1977 that the talented defender was born.

The Kansas City Wizards defender was originally overlooked by MLS so started his career with the now-defunct San Diego Flash of the A-League. After one season, the San Jose Earthquakes took notice and signed the defender and was eventually traded to the Wizards.

His performance, including being a finalist for the MLS Defender of the Year in 2004, helped earn him a call up to the U.S. national team.  And just like with his earlier opportunities took full advantage ultimately being named to the 2006 FIFA World Cup roster and seeing action against Italy and Ghana.

Jimmy Conrad Born

conrad_JimmyAfter being passed over by Major League Soccer after graduating from college, Jimmy Conrad did not give up on his dream and after a stint in the A-League worked his way up to MLS and the United States men’s national soccer team.  And it was on this day in soccer history in 1977 that the talented defender was born.

The Kansas City Wizards defender was originally overlooked by MLS so started his career with the now-defunct San Diego Flash of the A-League. After one season, the San Jose Earthquakes took notice and signed the defender and was eventually traded to the Wizards.

His performance, including being a finalist for the MLS Defender of the Year in 2004, helped earn him a call up to the U.S. national team.  And just like with his earlier opportunities took full advantage ultimately being named to the 2006 FIFA World Cup roster and seeing action against Italy and Ghana.

Soccer Birthdays

1969 – Hong Myung-Bo, Korean footballer
1977 – Jimmy Conrad, American soccer player

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