Wednesday, 11 August 2010

How many shirts Greg? Don’t believe the hype.....



Another year, another three letter sponsor....
So the new season is about to begin and United supporters are getting used to a new shirt emblazoned with the name of our new sponsor. United's appeal to global brands is not in doubt and the exposure the deal will give to Aon is clearly the major plus for the company's President and Chief Executive, Greg Case as he outlined in this press release (edit, the cached copy I previously linked to has gone, nice work Aon, but thankfully Red News published the full release here) which was also sent as an email to all Aon staff when the deal was announced last year:

"The strong Manchester United brand is compelling because it provides Aon with an opportunity to communicate the value we bring to clients on a broader base than we ever could have achieved on our own. We also will have the chance to maximize the value of our partnership in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East as well as take advantage of Manchester United's strong presence in the United Kingdom and Europe."


Not only that, but Greg goes on to explain how United supporters will become Aon's "walking billboards":

"And speaking about that world famous shirt, more than 6 million Manchester United shirts are sold in a year, giving Aon more than 6 million "walking billboards" annually. With each appearance Manchester United makes, they will add to their fan base in both existing and new markets. Starting in 2010 the Aon-sponsored shirt will continue to build equity for our Firm as it increases its impression rate globally."


How many shirts are sold each year? "more than 6 million" says Greg....

Hang on. Nike never reveal how many replica United shirts they sell per annum. The bond prospectus does not contain the number. The only time Red Football Ltd has made it (sort of) public was in the 2006 refinancing Investment Memorandum (page 14`of the pdf, third paragraph):

"Over the first four years of the Nike deal [which commenced on 1st August 2002], the Club sold in excess of 6 million replica shirts, approximately 40% of those sales (including other apparel) were outside of the UK."


So four years ago United/Nike were selling c. 1.5m shirts a year (of which only around 600,000 were sold outside the UK), today someone has told Greg Case that annual shirt sales are running at 6m!


What's going on? A quick call to Nike yielded the response that:

"annual sales are significantly below the number [6m] you just quoted".....


The football "industry" is never more ridiculous than when it is making exaggerated claims about its own popularity and it makes me wonder what else David Gill told Greg Case about the current state of Manchester United. Perhaps he should pop back over to M16 for a fact finding mission. He could take in a match, West Ham is on general sale.....


LUHG

30 comments:

Thommo5584 said...

Maybe you are being a little naive by only including the shirts Nike sell. There are a huge number of snide shirts made every year which while not adding to Nike's profit would still act as "walking billboards" for Aon.

andersred said...

Maybe that's what he meant but he can't guarantee a snide would even spell Aon correctly! And "look at us, we sponsor a team with millions of knock off shirts" is hardly an inspiring corporate message...

Patrick said...

Good to see your back Andy and you didn’t follow Keith Harris in chasing the media to the gates of Anfield.
And what did you make of Keith’s recent media interviews where his has quoted as saying “The message I thought came loud and clear from the current owners that they are not interested in selling it,"
Followed by “If the owner is not a seller and owns all of it and isn't under pressure to sell it then there isn't going to be a deal.”
"I don't think there's any point (in a bid). If you had such a clear message that the current owners don't want to meet with a prospective buyer then I think you've got to say 'there's no purpose in tabling a bid'.
"Bids were tabled in the past and were declined. They obviously don't feel under pressure or under desire to do it today."
What did you make of Sir Alex’s recent vote of confidence in the Glazer Family ?
Hope your posts regain their focus back to all things Utd .
Yours in sport

The Druid said...

Thommo beat me to it.

Clearly a shit load of fake shirts are sold every year, in Bangkok and Beijing and elsewhere. The majority of them will spell Aon correctly.

Nice to see you back Anders.

ja said...

“If the owner is not a seller and owns all of it and isn't under pressure to sell it then there isn't going to be a deal.”
Which is why a boycott is so important in helping to force the parasites out.
"Bids were tabled in the past and were declined"
Hearsay or spin perhaps?
What did you make of Sir Alex’s recent vote of confidence in the Glazer Family ?
Absolutely disgusted
"Hope your posts regain their focus back to all things Utd ."
All things United obviously include finance and the disgusting Glazer regime.
BTW, Patrick one of the so-called benefits of the Glazers contra a plc was the alleged ability to act swiftly. What is your feeling on the protracted will they wont they dance around an alleged bid for Ozil? Or do you agree that 8-10 mill is no value?

Anonymous said...

@patrick.
About your "hope your posts" comments.
Last time i checked this was Anders' blog incorporating football finance.
It is not the "let's only talk about what Patrick wants to talk about" blog.
You have added nothing of note to our understanding of united's finances and i wonder about your motivation for posting.
Maybe if you didn't have a blank blog we could get your insight.

Si, East Manchester said...

Another Patrick post with little or nothing to do with the topic it's posted on. Why do you bother, we get the picture, you are pretty happy with the status quo at Utd so quit the droning on mate.
On the subject of the new shirt, i haven't seen as many being worn in and around Manchester compared to the past when a new one has come out. In my opinion there's a number of reasons for this...the merchandise boycott being one reason adopted by some fans (the ones with any sense that is) but other reasons probably include people getting fed up by the yearly change of it, the actual cost of buying it and the fact there's something a bit naff about wearing the full Utd kit while watching the match down the pub.
Before i gave up my ST in 2005 i used to regularly fall over peoples megastore shopping bags while trying to get to my seat full of the latest tat on offer. No doubt the club will be working on overdrive to shift those branded Utd oven gloves this season trying to make up for some of those lost shirt sales.

Patrick said...

As Andy has been away for over 3 weeks I was seeking his comments on the events that have taken place in his absence.As a few months back we were all interested in every word and movement of David Gill and Sir Alex

ja said...
What is your feeling on the protracted will they wont they dance around an alleged bid for Ozil? Or do you agree that 8-10 mill is no value?
11 August 2010 14:56
The Club has already spent between 10-20million on two players Chris Smalling (Fulham) andJavier Hernandez (Guadalajara)with 16million coming in from player sales
And Sir Alex would answer your question best
They support myself, the manager, they've supported the players. I've never been refused when I've asked for money for a player, so what can I do other than carry on the way we're doing it, and the way I'm allowed to carry on? I've no complaints."
Well until certain elements on here (Not Andy) stop running our club down with their doom and gloom crap then I will continue to post all the positive sides about the club and speak the truth about any potential bidder and won’t act like a sheep and believe everything that is posted here is gospel truth when it is clear that Andy is aligned to one side of the Debate(Must)

Anonymous said...

@ Patrick
"As a few months back we were all interested in every word and movement of David Gill and Sir Alex"

What does this even mean?

No right thinking supporter cares what David Gill says. The man is a political animal, nothing more.
He will say whatever will ensure his huge salary increases further.

"won’t act like a sheep"

That's ironic considering you have a tendancy to believe every piece of rubbish the Glazers will throw at you.

Again, I think we need your financial insight, Patrick. And please don't quote others and the bloody Forbes article. Some original thinking would be nice.

Patrick said...

Another Anonymous Person.As for why we should be interested in what Gill says.Well as the chief Executive and the Public face of the Glazers Management team and although Doubtful all his reports are accurate or truthful he is still the top Non Glazer Family man at the club maybe even above sir alex himself.Even Andy himself has dedicated a few Blogs to the Topic as to What David has said.
The vast majority of Posters on here just agree with andy instead of trying to gain a better understanding of finance by digging further into the facts.
So then Poster above why should we care what Must or Keith Harris (red knights) say when we dont even Know who or what they are and seem to be as Political and Media Driven given Keiths apperence in backing a Failed takeover at Anfield

Anonymous said...

@Patrick
"The vast majority of Posters on here just agree with andy instead of trying to gain a better understanding of finance by digging further into the facts."

This is a huge presumption on your part. Maybe the reason the people with financial experience agree with Anders is because he accurately portrays the financial position we are in.

Again, you have provided NO financial insight yourself to support your pro-Glazer position.

Please provide.

andersred said...

Look Patrick I have to agree with the others' comments.

It's a blog, about FOOTBALL FINANCE. Primarily United, but not always. Today is a minor piss take of the bullshit PR and spin about our millions of fans and the millions of shirts sold.... Nothing more. It isn't meant to be profound.

If you want to discuss Fergie's comments or Keith Harris etc, etc there are loads of decent United forums out there with hundreds of people desperate to talk about those subjects.

If you want to comment on here, try to make it relevant to the topic!

Cheers,

anders

Patrick said...

Jesus anders you have changed your tune,Take a look at many of your other Blogs some with over 120 posts with nearly 90% of them of no relevence to Football Finance.
So about football Finance what do you make of Sir Alexs and David Gill recent Comments that the Glazers have always supported them in the Transfer market and what do you or other Football Finance Experts make of the liverpool takeover saga

Jesper Olsen on the wing.... said...

@patrick 'Take a look at many of your other Blogs some with over 120 posts with nearly 90% of them of no relevance to Football Finance.'

That is because you and your sock puppet pal Red Devil keep going off topic and ask drivel questions about what we think about Gill and SAF latest PR exercise. Some people are bored enough to answer.

Maybe I'm misjudging you and you are wumming. 10/10 if you are.

Anonymous said...

@patrick.
You truly are like that bulmers/magners ad ... nothing added but time.

Anders, am i right in thinking United don't have to release Q4 info this month and can wait until Oct for the full year results?

Patrick said...

Week of the 27th Of Aug for the next set of results.Should be interesting
As for again having a go at me i only started posting on here at the end of june/ start of July and the vast majority of Anders posts have been previous to that along with the vast majority of time wasters who have added nothing but one line digs at fellow posters who merely question the facts presented in order to gain a better understanding of the topics.What do people make of the Far Eastern takeover of Leicester City and Far Eastern involement in the Liverpool takeover saga and is it a sign of things to come in terms of where future takeovers will come from?

Anonymous said...

Hi Andy Back 0n 22nd June you dealt with the Problems the Glazers have with the First Allied Corporation.Just wondering if you have any more update on that i know its of topic but perhaps the mess has got worse for them

UTID said...

@ Patrick
You are an impossible person to have to deal with ... I don't know how Anders has the patience.

You have your own blog address. Why don't you post on there about what YOU want to talk about and let Anders post what HE wants on HIS blog.

Please quit the off-topic questions, they are getting very tedious.

Patrick said...

Okay Back to football finance topic got an Email from Must today and it contained a number of interesting posts
"The leaders of the Red Knights Group are serious business people who got involved in this project with us because they couldn’t stand to see what was happening to our club. Their main priority is to put United on a more stable and sustainable financial footing, and it wouldn’t be a particularly credible start to that endeavour if they were to grossly overpay for an asset that is currently drowning in debt, particularly at a time when the future remains so uncertain. Although it served a purpose initially, particularly for MUST, they did find the media interest became unhelpful to the process and that is why they’ve taken the decision to pursue matters more privately."
Well then why did they not act via Private Channels in the first place instead of making a Show of themselfs in the Media

Patrick said...

Part 2
"These are not in it primarily to make a profit for themselves - there are plenty of other more lucrative investments. But they do want United to make a profit, and they do want us to be able to pay down the debt, bring down ticket prices and invest in the squad. And the worst possible way to start doing that is to pay the Glazers any more than they have to."
How do you clear the debt and reduce ticket prices and then have cash to re invest in the squad in these tough times we find ourselves in?

Patrick said...

It is important to understand that the “Red Knights” is not just a single fixed group of individuals. It is actually a term we have used since prior to the Glazer takeover to refer to friendly bidders who would come to the rescue of Manchester United. The make-up of any Red Knights consortium is therefore not set in stone and effectively it has over recent months included pretty much every individual and group who has expressed an interest in ownership of Manchester United, including a number who could alone buy the club outright and indeed are thought to have made bids in the past
Prove it then show us cold hard facts on who these bidders are?

Also to finish up it most be pointed that with the Confirmed signing of Tiago Manuel Dias Correia, otherwise known as Bébé for a fee reported to be over £7m that would bring our transfer spending this summer near if not over the £25m transfer spend set aside by the glazers for transfers.Proves they have backed Sir Alex as they always have done debt or no debt

Yours in sport and red

Anonymous said...

Is there any way we can put Patrick on ignore?

He just does not understand the concept of getting on topic.

FYI Patrick - the topic is the Aon deal and United shirts.

If you want to talk about other topics i.e. MUST and the Red Knights please put this on YOUR blog not Anders'.

zick said...

when Manchester United financial report coming.

Q4 results?

Anonymous said...

@zick
P130 of prospectus suggess report due in Oct as it is year end.
If it was Q1, Q2 or Q3 it would be end of this month.

Si, East Manchester said...

Patrick, Try Red Cafe, it'd be right up your street. You could make friends with Tufty & Red Devil on there and be happy as a pig in shit.

Ben said...

Hi Anders, enjoying your blog as usual. I just had a question regarding the club's merchandising and sponsorship deals with Nike.

Obviously in the prelude to the 10/11 season, there has been a lot of discussion amongst united fans of boycotting the Glazers, whether that be through tickets, shirts, merchandise, MUTV subscriptions etc. However, my understanding of the 2002 deal was that it effectively handed control of the club's global replica-kit and merchandising business to Nike, in return for £302.9m over 13 years.

Do we know any of the detail of this deal? Obviously 10/11 season replica shirts have already been sold, but if no shirts had been sold at all, would this actually have had any effect on the club's revenues, or only those of Nike? What is the situation regarding other areas of merchandising (eg Nike-manufactured, MUFC-branded footballs, or the OT Megastore); do the club get any share of the profits from these enterprises?

Regards,

Ben

finneh said...

In response to one of your queries Patrick, I think most fans believe that Fergie is being genuine, in that he has never had a problem with the Glazers. However he has never given them any opportunity to say "no". If he is constantly selling as much as he is buying they really can't have any problems.

The problem comes however when we go through a period of needing to spend maybe big money over a relatively short period to stay competitive (such as between 01/02 - 04/05 where we spent over £90m net, in the current market you could easily double that figure).

Most fans feel that if Fergie were to ask for this kind of funding, then there would be a problem. I really can't see the Glazers saying "OK Fergie you can spend £40-45m net for the next 4 seasons to stay on top". The reason fans feel this way is because the Glazers couldn't afford to pay down the PIK's whilst sanctioning such transfers, without putting the club under further pressure. Then comes the point of compromise and who knows what Fergie might do if he weren't getting the funds he feels he needs.

I personally hope all our youngsters step up and prevent us needing to spend this kind of cash for a few years of rebuilding, but if history has taught us anything it is that you have to spend to stay above the curve.

Anonymous said...

Just saw this thread since Im not a regular reader on your blog.

The cached copy link you provided doesn't work, so whatever was said in that press release is unknown for me. But I found this document instead, it seem to be an official AON report, dated May 20, 2010.

On page 10 in this document I found this piece of interesting information:
- "Approximately 6.6 million Man U shirts are sold each year (official/non-official)."
- "So not only does Aon get its logo seen by millions of "football" fans worldwide, they also get over 6 million 'walking billboards.' Yes, the expense seems a bit daring, but the exposure should be tremendous."

Makes me wonder if it is that first quote Mr. Greg Case is referring to in the June press release, when he said:
"And speaking about that world famous shirt, more than 6 million Manchester United shirts are sold in a year, giving Aon more than 6 million 'walking billboards' annually."

Could he simply have meant what the Aon statement actually say; "Approximately 6.6 million Man U shirts are sold each year (official/non-official)"?

http://www.aon.com/unitedin2010/Aon%20Man%20Utd%20Top%20Ten%20Media%20Wins%20As%20of%20052010.pdf

Anonymous said...

I see that you have a working link to the press release now.

In an Aon document I found when googling for that Greg Case press release, states the following:
- "Approximately 6.6 million Man U shirts are sold each year (official/non-official)."
- "So not only does Aon get its logo seen by millions of "football" fans worldwide, they also get over 6 million 'walking billboards.' Yes, the expense seems a bit daring, but the exposure should be tremendous."

Makes me wonder if Aon did their homework in regard of research prior to signing the shirt deal with United, and this is what Greg Case refers to in his press release.

See page 10.
http://www.aon.com/unitedin2010/Aon%20Man%20Utd%20Top%20Ten%20Media%20Wins%20As%20of%20052010.pdf

andersred said...

Hi anonymous,

Yes that 6.6m number has been floating around since June 2009 when the sponsorship was announced. It's totally unverified, unsourced and in my view ridiculous.

We know official sales were c.6m in the first four seasons of the Nike deal (2002/3-2005/6)or c. 1.5m per year. There is no reason to believe they've grown since then. Is it really credible to believe that "unofficial" shirt sales are three times the official number? And would Aon rely on such shirts actually bearing the Aon logo (correctly spelt, right size etc).

I think you are being too nice to their corporate comms department!

anders