Chevrolet and Manchester United have partnered up to give children from Johannesburg, Mfanelo and Nokuthula, and nine other kids from around the world, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The global automotive brand partnered with the popular English Premier League club to have each first team player walk onto the pitch wearing a shirt with the name of their mascot on the back, including Mfanelo and Nokuthula, before their season opener against Swansea City on Saturday . Then just before the start of the match, the players presented the shirts as gifts to them.
In a statement, Tim Mahoney, chiefs marketing officer, Global Chevrolet, said, “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. 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 magical 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.
Mfaneloa and Nokuthula– along with the nine other children aged 10 to13 from Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, 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.
“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 revealed. “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.”
Wayne Rooney wore Mfanelo’s name on his shirt, while Tyler Blackett wore Nokuthula’s name. 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.