This two day event was to launch Aperol, the globally renowned Italian liqueur, as Manchester United’s Official Global Spirits Partner. Journalists from all over Europe witnessed the new eye catching Aperol branding on the digital boards surrounding the pitch at Manchester United. As a nice touch all the guests’ names were added on to the boards within the creative on a rotational basis, so that everyone could see their own name in lights.
After the breath taking tour, which showed why this partnership would benefit Aperol due to the history and heritage and popularity of Manchester United, everyone went through to the Evolution suite which overlooks the hallowed turf to enjoy the rest of the evening.
The event was hosted by Alan Keegan, Manchester United’s announcer for all home games. To start things off he introduced Manchester United legends Dennis Irwin and Peter Schmeichel who took centre stage for an Aperol Spritz masterclass, to see these iconic figures making a cocktail was an experience in its self. Dennis Irwin looked a natural, as he kept saying, “Course I know my way around the bar, I’m Irish”, where as Peter had the same seriousness on his face as he did during his playing days, wanting his version to be the best and handling each component as safely as he did the ball.
We were then invited to try both versions of their cocktails and then vote who’s we felt was the best. Dennis Irwin’s won hands down with all votes going his way.
Although this partnership may have added some sparkle to Manchester United, it could not be forgotten about the current first team’s recent run of poor results, it was time to get the thoughts of Peter Schmeichel and Dennis Irwin on these matters.
After the recent run of bad results experienced, how can the players pick themselves up and re launch their season, as you experienced three losses in a row yourselves in 1996, to Newcastle, Southampton and then Chelsea?
Peter “you have to re-group in the changing room and on the training pitch, we used to talk about what had happened but no one panicked, we knew we were good we were reigning champions, we had the players to change things around, there was no point dwelling and that’s what the current team need to do, look ahead to the next match and I’m sure they will. They have the players there”
Dennis “ We didn’t really change anything we just kept working hard in training on the things we always did, the current team are champions and there is enough experience in the changing room to be able to come back stronger and turn the season around. You need to take positivity from things in training, be solid in the dressing room and remember who you play for”.
David Moyes Recently said that having Sir Alex Ferguson in the stands was a plus point, do you agree or do you think he is casting a shadow over him?
Peter “Absolutely not, Sir Alex is Manchester United, he is the reason the club is where it is today and it can only be a plus point having him in the stands, you can’t ask him to stop going to the games, look at that stand there, it’s the Sir Alex Ferguson stand. What’s our name? ‘United’, everyone has to be united and stick together from the ex manager and players to the current manager and players. He lives and breathes football and will never stop going. If David needs advice then Sir Alex is there, you don’t see him ever interfering.
Dennis – David Moyes has been in the game along time, he should be able to deal with having Sir Alex look on.
Dennis, what was it like receiving that famous pass from Eric Cantona against Spurs in 1993, which was used in the film ‘Looking for Eric’ which lead to you scoring?
“I just thought it’s a good pass, but then I thought bloddy hell, that was a good goal, hahaha”
The rest of the evening involved a four course meal with wine for all the guests from the Manchester United catering team and a quiz which each table competed in, involving questions about the club, general knowledge questions and games of table football, which seemed to get everyone buzzing. Each member of the winning team received a signed shirt from the full first time.
To add to this memorable occasion was the fact the FA Premier League trophy was looking upon everyone sitting down at the tables and there were opportunities to have photographs with it alongside the Aperol sponsor board.
The following day was the press conference for the new sponsorship deal at the Aon training complex at Carrington. Manchester United’s Group Managing Director, Richard Arnold spoke about the partnership, he said “We are delighted to welcome Aperol as Manchester United’s new Global Sprits Partner. Aperol is an ambitious brand and we have been impressed by their innovative approach to developing on an international stage”
This was then followed by a few words from Bob Kunze-Concewitz, Chief Executive Officer, Gruppo Campari “With the club widely recognised as the most supported in the world, this is a partnership that will deliver brand exposure on a massive scale, helping to provide Aperol, and its signature drink Aperol Spritz. We are painting Europe Orange starting with Manchester and then want to paint the world Orange”
A highlight of the morning was the opportunity to interview five of the first team players, Anders Lindegaard, Darren Fletcher, Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Jonny Evans about the partnership and recent and up and coming fixtures.
Please give us your take on the newly formed partnership between Aperol and Manchester United?
Anders “I think the fact Manchester United is used to celebrating and big occasions and Aperol is a celebratory drink will prove to be a good mix”
Jonny “It’s a great fit, as it states the drink will give the fans a new way to celebrate their passion, we have very passionate fans and the team enjoy celebrating as a group also.”
Ryan, as we are talking about celebrating, which premier league titles have you enjoyed celebrating the most?
“Usually when we have won the league early, you can ride it out then for a bit longer and rub it in and obviously there are some great nights that go with it. Winning the league the way we did last year is one of them”
Rio, what is your most celebrated moment at Manchester United?
“Has to be winning the Champions league in Moscow in 2008, it was unbelievable, we had a late night that night I can tell you”.
To top the two day event off, all guests with given a Manchester United home shirt with their name on as well as an Aperol gift pack including a bottle of Aperol , some Manchester United turf and much more.