Manchester United’s just inked its latest sponsorship deal with none other than the Italian spirits brand Aperol. The makers of the popular aperitif have come on as the “Global Spirits Partner,” joining a laundry list of brands that are already in bed with the world’s biggest club: Mister Potato (“Official Savory Snack Partner”), Kansai (“Official Paint Partner), and so on.
While the Red Devils are surely too big to fail, it’s worth noting that the club has been struggling of late, losing a reported £220 million in value during this season due to on-field form. Man U is seventh in the Premier League, it’s facing a struggle to qualify for next season’s Champions League, and the new manager, David Moyes, is burdened with a serious rebuilding job to bring the kind of success the club and its fans have become accustomed to for over two decades, reports The Guardian.
What’s perhaps more interesting, though, is that Aperol believes Man U’s international fan base is as interested in drinking Negronis and sours as they are in guzzling pints of beer. Just like hummus becoming the official dip of the NFL, it’s indicative of the changing face of sports, and the desire of advertisers to reach past the stereotypical lager lout/couch jockey demographic. It all makes sense though—the Premiership is an international stage, with most of its players and money coming from outside of Britain, and most Man U players are definitely the type you’d catch on the Italian Riviera in the off-season, rocking Capri pants and sipping Aperol Spritzes.
Needless to say, the news has sparked plenty of amusing responses from club fans and detractors alike—London chef Jackson Boxer is even calling for an Aperol boycott at his restaurants.
Click through the gallery to see the most amusing Tweets regarding the Man U-Aperol partnership.
[via The Guardian, Twitter]