United announce partnership with Aigo

BEIJING - Manchester United launched a five-year partnership with Chinese electronics manufacturer Aigo on Thursday, a deal which the club described as "up there" with its biggest commercial deals.

The Chinese company will make and distribute co-branded digital camaras, multimedia players and data storage devices for the United globally, and mobile phone handsets in China. Financial details were not disclosed.

"China has always been something of a second home for Manchester United," the English Premier League club's commercial director Richard Arnold told a news conference

"We have been to China on tour five times in the last decade. Now we have found our first Chinese partner to join our family. Some 71 million of our 330 million fans worldwide live in China."

Aigo, the brand name of Beijing Huaqi Information Digital Technology, also appears on Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton's shirt as well as on his McLaren racing car.

United, who rely on sponsorship for about a third of their revenue, agreed a new four-year shirt sponsorship deal earlier this month with U.S. insurance broker Aon Corp, which was reported to be worth 20 million pounds a year.

The English champions will be in China to play Chinese Super League side Hangzhou Greentown during their Asian tour on July 26. The teams will compete for the Aigo Cup.