What was appealing about football — and Manchester United specifically?
Football is dynamic and competitive, and appeals to a global audience. It transcends cultures and people, and brings communities together like no other sport. It goes without saying that for Aon to become part of this high energy environment is extremely exciting. Like Aon, Manchester United has a truly global reach. The club has a great pedigree, and shares both our ambition for worldwide appeal and our pursuit of excellence. This partnership allows us to bring the Manchester United brand into our core business areas, and will help us to grow in emerging insurance and reinsurance markets, such as parts of Asia, where the Manchester United brand is very strong. The Manchester United shirt is an iconic image in the world of sport, and the chance to appear on it is very rare — Aon is only the fourth company to do so in history of the club.
How will this partnership work?
This is a four-year global partnership and brand sponsorship agreement starting in June 2010. In addition to having Aon’s logo on the Manchester United shirt from the 2010/11 season, the sponsorship will present opportunities for joint product marketing and services to clients. We feel that tremendous benefits will arise from having our brand exposed to the millions of fans across the world that follow the team every day.
Was the sponsorship of the team a big decision for Aon in the current economic climate?
The economic downturn has affected virtually all businesses, but we felt that we had to continue to be forward thinking in our attitude and our approach. An opportunity such as this to build a world recognized brand rarely presents itself, and it seemed that we should grab it now and reap the rewards in the years to come. We feel fortunate to be in a position where we could seriously consider an opportunity of this scale.
Manchester United is very active on the charitable front. How will Aon participate?
Aon has always taken seriously its community responsibilities. Our mantra is that we give back to those communities in which we do business, and considering we do business in more than 120 countries, this leaves us a wide scope for charitable work. In partnering with Manchester United, we have the opportunity to work with a club that shares our values in this regard. When considering this sponsorship, Manchester United’s “United for UNICEF“campaign was particularly appealing. There is no other sport that teaches young people the principles of teamwork and striving for excellence as much as football, and there is no other sports organization in the world that teaches the values of UNICEF as well as Manchester United.