Profile: Manchester United PLC (MANU.N)
26 May 2017
Manchester United plc, incorporated on April 30, 2012, is engaged in the operation of a professional football club together with related and ancillary activities. The Company's football operations primarily comprise various activities, such as its first team, reserve team, youth academy, global scouting networks and other operations, such as its sport science, medical and fitness operations at the Aon Training Complex. The Company operates in three sectors, including Commercial, Broadcasting and Matchday. Within the Commercial revenue sector, the Company monetizes its global brand through approximately three revenue streams, such as sponsorship; retail, merchandising, apparel and product licensing, and mobile and content. It monetizes the value of its global brand and community of followers through marketing and sponsorship relationships with international and regional companies around the world.
The Company markets and sells sports apparel, training and leisure wear and other clothing featuring the Manchester United brand on a global basis. In addition, the Company also sells other licensed products, from coffee mugs to bed spreads, featuring the Manchester United brand and trademarks. Its products are distributed through Manchester United branded retail centers and e-commerce platforms, as well as its partners' wholesale distribution channels. It has formed mobile telecom partnerships in various countries. In addition, the Company markets content directly to its followers, through its Website, www.manutd.com, and associated mobile properties. It benefits from the distribution of live football content directly from the revenue it receives and indirectly through global exposure for its commercial partners. Broadcasting revenue is derived from the global television rights relating to the Premier League, European competitions and other competitions. As of June 30, 2016, the Company's global television channel, MUTV, delivered Manchester United programming to over 56 countries and territories around the world. In the United Kingdom, MUTV is offered directly to consumers through the Sky and Virgin Media distribution platforms. Outside the United Kingdom, the Company offers MUTV through distribution partners as part of a suite of media rights, which can be purchased on a bundled or selective basis and can include certain promotional rights.
MUTV features a range of content in various categories, such as highlights from games and other time-delayed game footage, both of which are subject to certain holdback periods under the agreements between media distributors, the participating clubs and the Premier League and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA); live coverage of promotional tours and exhibition games, and lifestyle programming and other behind the scenes content profiling the club, its history, its manager and its players. In addition to the Company's retail store at its stadium Old Trafford, it has Manchester United branded retail locations in Macau and Thailand (which are operated by third party licensees). It offers digital content to mobile devices under its MU Mobile brand. As of June 30, 2016, the Company had developed a mobile Club App that is available in 26 territories. The Club App has been developed to support a test and learn strategy that enables the Company to optimize the development of future products, with a focus on tracking the consumption of different features and content types.
The Company's first team plays professional football in the Premier League, domestic cup competitions in England, including the Football Association (FA) Cup and the English Football League (EFL) Cup, and subject to qualifying, international cup competitions, including the Champions League. Its first team is led by its manager, supported by an assistant team manager and a club secretary, who in turn are supported by a team of over 90 individuals, including coaches and scouts for both its first team and youth academy, medical and physiotherapy staff, sports science and performance and match analysis staff. As of June 30, 2016, the Company had 59 players under contract of whom 36 had made an appearance for its first team. Its players enter into contracts with the Company that follow a prescribed model based on Football Association Premier League Limited rules. Players on its first team typically also enter into an image rights agreement with the Company, which grants it rights and protections with respect to use of their image. Its first team players generally enter into contracts of between 2 and 5 years' duration.
The Company's youth academy is a source of new talent for its first team, as well as a means of developing players that may be sold to generate transfer income. Players in the Company's youth academy and reserve teams may be loaned to other clubs in order to develop and gain first team experience with those other clubs and manage their transfer value. Players from its youth academy who do not make it into its first team achieve a place at another professional football club, thereby generating income from player loans and transfer fees. As of June 30, 2016, the Company's youth academy program consisted of 11 junior teams ranging from under 9s to under 18s. As of June 30, 2016, each team consisted of 15 to 23 players, each of whom was assessed during the season.
The Company's scouting system is another source of its football talent. Through the Company's scouting system, it recruits players for both its first team and youth academy. Its scouting system consists of a professional network of staff scouting in general and for specific positions and age groups.
The Company has invested resources into developing a performance center, which contains advanced sports and science equipment. It provides physiotherapy, bio-mechanical analysis and nutritional guidance to its players.
Manchester United PLC
Old Trafford, Sir Matt Busby Way
MANCHESTER M16 0RA