Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku & Juan Mata drink Melitta coffee

Ads will feature (l-r) Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku & Juan Mata

German coffee brand Melitta has signed a major commercial deal with Manchester United, becoming the Premier League club’s first official coffee partner.

Melitta bosses told The Grocer they wanted to boost the brand’s presence in the UK and leverage United’s huge global support to drive sales and awareness.

The tie-up with the 20-times league champions includes more than 200 fully automatic Melitta coffee machines and makers installed in executive club boxes and hospitality areas around Old Trafford stadium.

With more than a million cups of coffee consumed each season at the so-called Theatre of Dreams, it would provide the ideal backdrop to bring its premium coffee products to a mass audience “without compromising quality and flavour” Melitta said.

The coffee partner also features prominently in a major refurbishment of the football club’s Red Café at Old Trafford, including a new coffee bar and dining area within its main restaurant.

Melitta, which as well as machines produces filter and instant coffee for B2B and retail markets and a range of products such as filter papers, pourover cones and coffee grinders, said it hoped to become a household name in the UK because of the partnership. It will be marketed with ads featuring United’s star players, including Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata.

The coffee brand, part of the family-owned Melitta Group, will be the club’s exclusive coffee partner in Europe, with the partnership covering UK, Ireland and Germany. The length of partnership has not been disclosed, but Melitta said it hoped the deal would last many years in to the future.

Volker Stühmeier, member of the chief corporate management at Melitta, said: “It is a great honour to work with one of the most successful football teams in the world in such a close and trustworthy way. For over 360 days of the year our products will be used in one of the most traditional and iconic stadiums in the world. Old Trafford is an extraordinary showcase for Melitta.”

Manchester United group managing director Richard Arnold added: “Like Manchester United, Melitta is steeped in history. We are very proud to be partnering with this household name and look forward to working with Melitta to further enhance the experience of the hundreds of thousands of visitors we welcome to Old Trafford each season.”