MANCHESTER, UK: Manchester United, reputedly the planet's richest soccer club, has a digital goal in sight - 50 million online fans and potential customers - and is negotiating with four major marketing services groups about how best to score.

The club, home to past and present sporting heroes like George Best, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo, is talking to WPP Group, Publicis Groupe, Omnicom Group and McCann Worldgroup about ways in which it can guarantee its digital global reach.

Comments commercial director Lee Daley: "The club has a remarkable following but for most fans there can never be a direct relationship of, say, going to Old Trafford" [the club's revered home base].

"We need to figure out how to enhance the experience for the fans, increase the ways they can enjoy us. That is the aim of the strategic partnership I want to make."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff