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Old Trafford naming rights not for sale

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Manchester United has emphasised that the naming rights for Old Trafford are not for sale in the wake of a £15m eight year deal with AON to name the Carrington Training Ground after the club's current kit sponsor.  A more sceptical note is struck by the BBC's sports editor and some of the comments are interesting.

The American insurance company will also be the 'presenting partners' for overseas tours starting with this summer's trip to the Far East.   Quite what a 'presenting partner' does I am not clear, but I guess you make it to the stage at social events connected with the tour.  Indeed, I have performed that role at a convention in the United States.  It's probably more glamorous when you do it for a club like United.

The deal with AON, who will be replaced as main kit sponsors by Chevrolet in the 2014-15 season, is the latest success for United's global marketing strategy.   For the first six months of year commercial revenue is up 26.4 per cent on the same period last year and the club have already signed 17 new deals.  The strategy of splitting up sponsorship rights on a territorial basis has worked well.

In particular, it was United's growing follow in East Asia that appealed to AON. Phil Clement, chief marketing officer at AON, told the Financial Times, 'We've gone from no brand awareness in countries like South Korea to incredible brand awareness.  We need to translate that awareness into an understanding of what we do.'