Manchester United's new sponsor
In the next few hours my employers are set to announce that they will become Manchester United's new shirt sponsor
from the beginning of the 2010/11 season in a deal worth £80million over four years, the biggest shirt deal in football history, eclipsing AIG's annual contract by £6m!
How do I feel about that? A little pissed off to be honest. When a successful company freezes pay, severely cuts it's bonus pools and makes people redundant citing the global economic downturn just a few months back, one has to accept that there are many people worse off than you. But then out of the blue when they hand the world's richest football club
$132m something doesn't quite add up. "An astonishing revenue generation opportunity,"
blurts one suit from our London office, hmmmm if I was a Chelsea or an Arsenal fan working in our London office today after not getting a pay increase for two years, I would understandably be asking a lot of questions.
My company is not a recognisable global brand, but by having their name emblazoned across one of the most famous walking billboards in world sport, then it will surely become one, and putting a price on that is highly subjective. Certainly the firm is not looking for the great and the good of Salford to be ringing up looking for car insurance, but expanding it's reach into Asia, Europe and Africa is something they are.
I understand that Nike have already produced United's kit for next season and despite pressure from the American Federal Government for AIG to cancel the last year of their deal, pulping the replica jerseys is not an option, so my company will take up the sponsorship in August 2010.
The analysts like my company, as does Wall Street and I am sure they will like it even more when trading opens later today. But blinkered Man U fans aside, will the employees like and respect the firm more today? Unlikely.