DETROIT – Chevrolet today announced it is hosting 11 children from around the world – including Mfanelo Mabale and Nokuthula Nkabinde of Johannesburg, South Africa – in Manchester, England this week to serve as mascots for Manchester United’s Premier League season-opener on Saturday at Old Trafford.


Mfanelo and Nokuthula – along with children ages 10-13 from Brazil, China, South Korea and the United States, among other countries – were selected to be part of Chevrolet’s “What Do You #PlayFor?” campaign to bring football fans closer to their beloved sport and spread the power of play around the world.

“Enabling these children to live the dream of being on the Old Trafford pitch with the Manchester United first team is an unprecedented and dramatic way to celebrate our global partnership with the club and usher in a Chevrolet opening match tradition,”    said Tim Mahoney, chief marketing officer, Global Chevrolet. “Watching them walk onto the pitch is sure to inspire football fans everywhere, and certainly will be special for their families and friends, as well as everyone at Chevrolet and Manchester United.”

In addition to serving as mascots, Mfanelo, Nokuthula and nine other children will attend Manchester United’s famed Soccer School, meet club players and legends, receive a tour of the Club’s iconic Old Trafford stadium, and more.

“We are delighted to welcome such a diverse line up of mascots to Old Trafford,” Manchester United Group Managing Director, Richard Arnold said. “This is the first time our mascots have travelled from such a wide range of countries and the occasion truly demonstrates the Club’s global fan base and worldwide appeal. It is rare for 11 mascots to lead out the team and their inclusion shows both Manchester United and Chevrolet’s desire to mark this very special day.”

The children were selected to serve as mascots due in part to their love of the game, determination to overcome a variety of challenges, and use play to realize anything is possible.  The opportunity to be a mascot is part of Chevrolet’s “What Do You #PlayFor?” campaign to bring football fans closer to the sport and spread the power of play around the world.  Each child’s story is featured at

Since announcing its partnership with Manchester United in 2012, Chevrolet has tapped into the scale and passion of football to spread the power of play worldwide, including donating nearly 1 million nearly indestructible balls from One World Futbol Project for use by more than 26 million youth in 60-plus countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. 

Chevrolet also recentlyrevitalized a pitch in Bandung, Indonesia, on behalf of a local organization that uses soccer to increase the quality of life for people living with HIV and drug addiction, and Chevrolet donated a pop-up pitch and pickup truck and trailer to help transform gang-laden streets in Chicago into a place where children can play and learn valuable life skills. Manchester United legends attended both events to work with coaches and kids on a variety of soccer skills and techniques.

To celebrate its new, seven-year Manchester United shirt sponsorship, Chevrolet is inviting fans around the world to upload photos of themselves wearing a digital version of the new shirt at  Chevrolet also recently released a video on featuring Manchester United players, legends and fans paying homage to the history of the club’s shirts that has attracted more than 10 million views.

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