Bharti Airtel has become the first Indian brand to sponsor an English football team after it signed an exclusive five-year deal with Manchester United.

The arrangement between the two parties will give Airtel exclusive access to content including video clips of Premiership matches and Uefa Champion۪s League highlights, classic goals and games of Manchester United. The service provider on its network can show match feeds and reports and editorial features.

Furthermore, Airtel users will be able to download mobile games, ringtones, animations, and wallpapers of Manchester United players.

Says Manchester United Club CEO David Gill, “This partnership demonstrates the enduring strength of the Club internationally. We are very proud to have Bharti Airtel as the first Indian company to partner with Manchester United Club. This major partnership will bring the action and the passion of Manchester United directly to the millions of fans of Manchester United across India and other Asian countries.”

Adds Bharti Airtel deputy CEO Sanjay Kapoor said, “Football is definitely seeing a growing interest amongst the young population in India. Therefore, we are making a pioneering effort to bring to them rich football content on their mobiles, a fantastic opportunity to be part of the world۪s leading football club through participation in soccer schools, and also an opportunity to watch football matches across Europe.”

The deal will be effective when the new football season starts in August this year. Former sponsors American International Group (AIG) were not interested in continuing with the sponsorship due to recession.

Earlier it was rumoured that Liverpool FC was in talks with to India’s GMR Group about a possible takeover.