By George Overhill

8th Sep, 2022 | 3:23pm

There is “a lot of interest” from global brands to provide new sponsorship to Leeds United and the San Francisco 49ers jointly, according to Alex Chang.

The NFL franchise’s CMO says that they have been marketing the two teams together and using the power of both the Premier League and the NFL to explore new deals the cover both.

49ers Enterprises currently owns 44% of United but have an option until 2024 to take full ownership by buying out Andrea Radrizzani (The Athletic).

Speaking to the Sports Pro podcast Chang said: “We’ve had teams working on that as well, to say, ‘Can we strike a commercial sponsorship deal that includes both clubs?’

“And there’s been a lot of interest in that area, especially from global brands who really understand the power of both sports.

“We’re talking about the two biggest, most popular leagues in sports, in the world.”

Boost, but late

It certainly should be good news for the Whites if increased sponsorship income is on the cards via their partnership with the 49ers.

Fans might be wondering how much that might have helped in the transfer window that just closed as it came down to the final days with a striker still needed and claims from the club there wasn’t cash available to throw at one.

The Dan James exit has left a bitter taste in mouth of many with the mixed messages that have come out on how necessary it was, and the offers made for Charles De Ketelaere don’t seem to tie up with a team having to save so it could spend, considering the summer transfer business looked to have offset itself via the sales of Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips.

With United’s profile increasing in the US and globally, as shown by the Whites games jumping ahead of the big six for star billing on American TV, there should be a financial boost as a result as big brands line up to get in on the exposure.

But there have been big expectations for some time now that the involvement of the California-based NFL side would change the capabilities at Elland Road, without so much clear evidence for it in practice.

What Chang is saying is a strong development in theory but fans will likely be waiting to see the benefits of it before they get too excited.

In other Leeds United news, the club’s documentary may have played a role in a late-window exit from Elland Road according to Phil Hay.