CLUB NEWS

02/06/2010 09:00, Report by Nick Coppack
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Aon: A Case study

Manchester United and Aon launched the start of a four-year sponsorship deal at Old Trafford on Tuesday 1 June. ManUtd.com caught up with Aon president and chief executive Greg Case to get the lowdown on the club's new principal sponsor...

It’s almost a year to the day since the deal was first announced. You’ve been waiting a long time for this…
We could barely be more excited. Walking into Old Trafford to officially begin the partnership was such an incredible thrill. We’ve done a lot of work over the last year, working together with our friends from Manchester United, to get to this stage, but there’s no substitute for the real thing. Nothing prepares you for the sight of Aon and Old Trafford combining together – the hairs on the back of my neck stood up when I walked into this incredible, iconic stadium. It’s a big thrill.

Why Manchester United?
Manchester United is the number one club in the number one sport in the world. It has 90 per cent brand recognition in China, which is incredible. It has 100 per cent in Korea, 90 per cent in Latin America… and everyone knows just how big United is in England and Europe. That kind of brand recognition is simply unmatched, so that’s why this is such a great opportunity for Aon to get involved.

And what about Aon’s credentials?
We work with more companies – big companies, medium-sized companies and small companies – in the area of risk than any other insurance firm in the world. We help companies understand risk, prevent risk and deal with risk… in Chile, for example, we’re currently putting more companies back on their feet than anyone else in the world. Where there’s trauma in the world we help companies recover from that trauma, and we do more of that sort of work than anybody else. Whether it’s insuring a cup of coffee or making sure some of the biggest companies in the world understand risk, Aon is there.

Just how attractive is the chance to advertise on United’s shirts?
We see it as very unique. As I’ve already outlined, Manchester United’s brand recognition and market penetration is unrivalled around the world. So when you marry that with Aon’s local presence – we’re in 120 countries – we feel it’s a very, very strong partnership.

Were there ever any doubts during the tender process? Or is this the sort of opportunity you’d be mad to turn down?
We were obviously very excited initially and we felt very privileged that we were one of the few companies the club invited to pitch for this sponsorship. We know Manchester United invested a lot of time and money into doing their research on the companies they felt they could potentially work with. But we also did a lot of our own investigating. And I have to say, every stone we turned over, every new piece

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