The prawn sandwiches were out in force yesterday at Old Trafford as the new sponsors of Manchester United Football Club, Aon the giant American Insurance Broker, took over the lucrative deal from disgraced and broke AIG the not so giant American Insurance Company.
AIG had to pull out their 14 million a year deal which ran until the end of May this year, after the company was bailed out by the US Treasury to keep it alive.
It’s been a bad week for AIG who failed to complete the sale of their Asian division AIA to the man from the Pru, as the Treasury ‘overvalued’ the operation at 24.5 billion.
It might not be such a big deal for Aon either who have reportedly paid 80 million to be in the Red and announced at the time that they shared a desire for excellence and winning, based on tradition, integrity, teamwork and success.
Manchester United are no longer the force they were a year ago when the sponsorship deal was cut. The club could be said to be in crisis for their high standards. The aging team and manager failed to win a trophy last season and were ignominiously dumped out of the European Champions League in the quarter finals.
The sale of Manchester United Shirts has dropped dramatically domestically with supporters favouring the green and yellow colours of the original club Newton Heath as a demonstration against the way that American owners the Glazer’s have asset stripped the once rich club.
With a lack of success the lucrative Asian shirt market will likely suffer too.
Hey maybe Aon should buy AIA!
Trying to buy success in the UK football market has so far only been achieved by the Russians!