Utd sponsors call for anti-racism stance

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New Manchester United sponsors Hublot have challenged rival companies to join together at Euro 2012 to create a 'Say No to Racism' day.

The Swiss watch manufacturers have paid an estimated £4million for a three-year partnership deal with the Red Devils, extending a link with football that also includes the Spanish national side and the European Championships.

With a turnover of around £150million, Hublot is dwarfed by some of the multi-national giants who put their names to flagship events around the world.

However, in passing on their advertising hoardings at Euro 2008 to the anti-racism campaign, charismatic chief executive Jean-Claude Biver set a precedent he has urged others to follow.

"My dream is for one match at Euro 2012 to be free of advertising and just have the 'say no to racism' message around the field," said Biver.

"We want to educate people against the perils of racism. But it cannot just be us. It has to be the major companies as well.

"When I told UEFA what I would be doing with the space at Euro 2008, (president) Michel Platini said, 'Are you mad? It is what you have paid for'. But this is something I care passionately about."

As part of the new deal with the Red Devils, Biver has pledged to make a donation to the club's charitable arm, the Manchester United Foundation, for each watch sold from its exclusive Big Bang range.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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