Special Mascot Moment: Chevrolet Surprises Two Children from India, Nine Others to Kick Off Manchester United’s Season
- New Delhi children serve as mascots for match; Manchester United first team players wear name of their mascot on back of their shirt upon entering pitch
- Just before start of match, players present the shirts as memento to mascots
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – Chevrolet today added to the excitement of Manchester United’s Premier League season-opener by using the power of play to give Akash and Kshitij, children from New Delhi, India and nine other children from around the world a first-ever, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The global automotive brand surprised everyone by partnering with the club to have each first team player walk onto the pitch wearing a shirt with the name of their mascot on the back, including Akash and Kshitij. Then just before the start of the match, the players presented the shirts as gifts to them.
“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, chief marketing officer, Global Chevrolet. “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.”
“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,” Mahoney added.
Akash and Kshitij – along with the nine other children ages 10-13 from Brazil, China, Indonesia, South Africa, South Korea and the United States – were selected to serve as mascots due in part to their determination and ability to overcome a variety of challenges, and use of play to create hope, optimism and possibilities The opportunity to be a mascot is part of Chevrolet’s “What Do You #PlayFor?” campaign to bring football fans closer to the sport and spread the power of play around the world. Each child’s story is featured at www.ChevroletFC.com.
“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,” Manchester United Group Managing Director, Richard Arnold said. “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.”
Chris Smalling wore Akash’s name on his shirt; Darren Fletcher wore Kshitij’s name. The other nine Manchester United first team players and mascot pairings were:
Manchester United Player
David De Gea
Jasmine / United States
Naely / Brazil
Anna / China
Yan / China
Fergie / Indonesia
Syffia / Indonesia
Mfanelo / South Africa
Nokuthula / South Africa
Daeyoung / South Korea
In addition to serving as mascots on Saturday, the children this week attended Manchester United’s famed Soccer School, met club legends, received a tour of Old Trafford, and more.
Since first announcing its partnership with Manchester United in 2012, Chevrolet has used football to spread the power of play worldwide, including donating close to 1 million nearly indestructible balls from the One World Futbol Project for use by more than 26 million youth in 60-plus countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Chevrolet also recently revitalized a pitch in Bandung, Indonesia, on behalf of a local organization that uses soccer to increase the quality of life for people living with HIV and drug addiction, and Chevrolet donated a pop‑up pitch and pickup truck and trailer to help transform gang-laden streets in Chicago into a place where children can play and learn life skills.
To celebrate its new, seven-year Manchester United shirt sponsorship, Chevrolet is inviting fans around the world to upload photos of themselves wearing a digital version of the new shirt at www.ChevroletFC.com. Chevrolet also recently released a video on www.ChevroletFC.com featuring Manchester United players, legends and fans paying homage to the history of the club’s shirts that has attracted more than 10 million views.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.