Aon looks to leverage Man U deal

Aon is to base all marketing activity on its sponsorship of Manchester United as the firm looks to leverage its new partnership.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Aon global chief marketing and communications officer Philip B Clement (pictured) says the partnership will inform “everything we do”.

The insurance, reinsurance and consulting company signed a four-year deal with the Premier League champions last week.

The firm will replace AIG as the club’s principal partner from the start of the 2010/2011 season after the US insurer decided not to renew its deal in the wake of last year’s bail-out by the US government.

Clement adds the agreement will focus its global marketing and sponsorship strategy and will be used to push a number of its services and divisions.

By illustration he says this could include a “teamwork” theme for its health and benefits division or perhaps using Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson’s image to promote Aon’s risk services division.

Aon hopes the deal will help it build its brand globally and help growth in emerging insurance and reinsurance markets, such as parts of Asia where the Manchester United brand is strong.

The agreement comes at a time when many brands are questioning the wisdom of long-term sponsorship deals as the global economic downturn puts the spotlight on what return on investment sponsorship can bring.

Clement says the sponsorship is an efficient and effective way of building the Aon brand, adding the company would have to spend significantly more on media to match the exposure the deal, reportedly worth about £80m over four years, will bring.

“It is a pretty good bet for a US firm looking for a global presence,” he says.

In addition to shirt sponsorship, Aon plans to develop “joint product marketing and services” for consumers.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here