LONDON (REUTERS) - English Premier League leaders Manchester City have swiped right on a unique deal with dating app Tinder, both organisations said on Thursday (April 5).
A day after a 3-0 defeat by Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-finals, City announced the signing of a multi-year partnership with Tinder, with British media reporting the deal is worth millions of pounds.
The commercial deal will see the dating app team up with the club's men's and women's sides along with sister club New York City FC.
"Tinder is a huge global platform which, just like football, is bringing millions of people together every day all around the world," City Football Group's chief commercial officer Tom Glick said in a statement on the club's website.
"Football is all about a community of fans, sharing moments, emotions and passion for the sport they love.
"Together with Tinder, we have a great opportunity to explore how we can combine Tinder's significant appeal and reach with our global audience... We believe this will be a perfect match for Tinder and for City."
Tinder, the dating app owned by Match Group Inc, marked the beginning of the partnership by flying a blimp in City's club colours - light blue and white - along with logos of both organisations in Manchester on Thursday.
The dating app has also changed its social media icons to match the club's colours to show support ahead of City's potential title-clinching derby against bitter rivals Manchester United in the league on Saturday.
"Football is a sport where anything can happen at any moment," Tinder's VP Partnerships David Wyler said.
"We wanted to be true to the game and do something unexpected by surprising the fans and our users with news of our partnership in a fun and creative way."
Meanwhile, British police have launched an investigation to identify those responsible for an attack on City's team bus before their clash against Liverpool at Anfield.
Missiles were thrown at the vehicle as it arrived at the stadium on Wednesday. Manchester City coach Manel Estiarte posted footage of the attack on Instagram. The sound of objects striking the vehicle can be heard in the video, filmed from inside the bus as it drove slowly towards the stadium.
His post was accompanied by the comments: "No words. Unacceptable."
Match commander superintendent Paul White said police were aware of the damage caused to the City bus.
"Thankfully, no one on the bus was injured, but injuries were caused to two of our officers when projectiles were thrown towards the bus," he said.
"The officers and stewards are there to protect the public and keep them safe. This behaviour by a number of people who threw bottles, cans and pyrotechnics towards the bus is completely unacceptable and we will conduct enquiries to identify who was responsible and bring them to justice.
"We worked very closely with both clubs to ensure the safety of the public and the teams themselves, and it is disappointing to see that a number of people behaved in this appalling way."
Liverpool released a statement before the match apologising to City over the incident, saying they would cooperate with the authorities to identify those responsible.