D.C. United and Sunderland AFC announced today that they are entering in a partnership in which they will "share coaching and business expertise, alongside promoting each other in their respective markets." This is similar language to the deal that was brokered between D.C. United and Inter Milan; however, Inter are owned by the Erick Thohir, who also happens to own United. Sunderland are owned by American Ellis Short, a venture capitalist who has previously run investments for Lone Star Capital's Asia division.
However, like the partnership with Inter Milan, it will be difficult to quantify any benefits that will come from this partnership. From Inter Milan, the quantifiable things that D.C. United has received have been an assistant coach and trained with the team for a few days this summer. With both deals, the marketing and promotional benefits are only seen off the field and take a while to develop. One guess, however? I would anticipate a Sunderland-D.C. Unite friendly as early as next summer.