Aperol Spritz

Aperol has struck a deal with Manchester United

Trendy Italian liqueur Aperol has become the official global spirits partner of Manchester United in a deal aimed at accelerating the drinks brand’s international growth.

The brand, which is owned by Gruppo Campari, will partner the club until the end of the 2016/2017 season. Its branding will be prominent on the Old Trafford digital advertising boards during Premier League, FA Cup and Capital One Cup home matches, with additional advertising across Man Utd marketing material. It will also have a series of marketing initiatives in key global markets. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

Gruppo Campari chief executive Bob Kunze-Concewitz said a partnership with the most successful club in the world would deliver brand exposure on a “massive scale”.

“It will help to provide Aperol, and its signature drink Aperol Spritz, with excellent levels of year-round brand exposure, consumer engagement and promotional opportunities in developed and new global markets,” he said.

“Aperol is a brand that also embodies success, celebration and sociability. The natural fit between the two brands makes the partnership one that will bring continued success to both parties.”

Manchester United’s group managing director, Richard Arnold, said the drink was a “fitting partner” for the club. “Aperol is an ambitious brand and we have been impressed by their innovative approach to developing on an international stage.”

Off-trade sales in the UK last year benefitted from heavy on-trade promotion by Gruppo Campari, however the company reported Aperol’s organic performance in the nine months to 30 September 2013 was down 2.5%. This came despite a strong double-digit recovery in the third quarter (+13.4%), which was driven by Italy and a “continued strong positive trend in all other international markets”, it said.