United secures new Aon partnership

Manchester United shirt sponsor Aon is set to enhance its ties to the club by signing an eight-year extension to its partnership that will encompass branding rights to the English Premier League giant’s training kit and complex.

Under the new deal, which will take effect on July 1 and run through to 2021, United’s Carrington training centre will be renamed the Aon Training Complex. Aon will become the first ever partner of the club’s training facility, providing advice to the club on talent development, risk management, health and wellness. The club’s players and coaching staff will also wear Aon-branded training kits at all friendly and competitive domestic fixtures, as well as during training sessions. In October, United reached a settlement agreement on its training kit sponsorship with DHL in the belief that the partnership was significantly undervalued. The leading logistics company upgraded its relationship with the club in August 2011 to become its first official training kit sponsor. DHL had been United’s official logistics partner for a year, and the four-year agreement, worth £40 million, had seen the company’s logo included on the club’s training kit during domestic competitions.

Aon, which has its global headquarters in London, will also be the presenting partner of all United pre-season tours for the next eight years. Monday’s news comes after it was announced in August that Chevrolet will upgrade its partnership with the club and succeed Aon to become its shirt sponsor from the 2014-15 season. That agreement is worth a record-breaking £357 million over the seven-year duration of the deal. Aon has emblazoned its logo across United’s shirt since 2010-11, with its deal worth £80 million to the club. Financial details behind the new contract have not been released, but it is reportedly worth in the region of£120-150 million. Manchester United commercial director Richard Arnold said: “They (Aon) are a great partner and I am very excited about the possibilities for sustainable advantage this provides the club as we build our global presence. Aon knows that every employee, including the first team, drives the success of our club. The Aon Training Complex is all about winning and preparing individuals, identifying talent and performing at the highest level to achieve success. Aon serves clients with unwavering focus on high performance, training and execution, an approach that mirrors the way we prepare here at Manchester United.”

Phil Clement, Aon’s global chief marketing and communications officer, added: “This announcement is the next step in the evolution of our partnership with Manchester United. Together, Aon and Manchester United have been working on two critical issues for a growing global business – managing risk and highly performing teams. The first phase of our relationship brought Aon an explosion in brand awareness. This phase of our partnership is a more holistic approach where we can use our expertise and create a global dialogue and knowledge share around the fields of talent, healthcare, risk, retirement, and data and analytics to help deliver great performance and great results. As a business our ambition is to empower economic and human possibility and our partnership with Manchester United is the ideal way to do this.”