Man United signs deal with Swiss watchmaker Hublot

LONDON - Manchester United has signed a multi-million pound three-year deal with watch manufacturer Hublot.

The Swiss company, which produced the official watches for Euro 2008, will mark the deal by releasing a Red Devil Bang watch which will have a 45-minute counter to indicate half a football match.

The sponsorship deal is the fourth for Manchester United since the summer, following Budweiser, Saudi Telecom and Seoul metropolitan government.

David Gill, chief executive at the club, said that despite the recession there are still deals to be done.

"It’s not to say that football is not going to be impacted by that," he said. "But if you can combine the strength of a brand like Manchester United and a company like Hublot then you have got a wonderful combination."

The United deal stands in contrast to the setbacks faced by other clubs amid the economic downturn, as rival teams such as West Ham are still without a shirt sponsor following the collapse of XL Airways in September.

United's own shirt sponsorship with troubled insurance company AIG is continuing amid uncertainty about AIG's future.

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