Aon delighted with United link
US insurance giant Aon is adamant its sponsorship of Manchester United has "exceeded expectations" despite their current deal coming to an end.
Aon is in the third season of a four-year deal which cost it an estimated £80million.
Yet the eye-bulging £357million, seven-year contract with Chevrolet was confirmed in August 2012 and Aon's status had already been undermined by the ground-breaking £10million-a-year training kit deal with DHL that ensures two names are now seen on United action shots, not one.
United have already bought DHL out of that contract, with speculation rife that a mega-bucks alternative with Qatar Airways that will net them £100million over an eight-year term could materialise.
These deals seem to have put Aon in the shade somewhat. However, it is a measure of United's pulling power that the company remain happy to put their name to a five-match summer tour that includes trips to Thailand, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong.
In addition, once the Chevrolet sponsorship begins, Aon will continue as sponsor of the club's charitable arm, the Manchester United Foundation, in addition to its Business Network.
And the reason can be found in a predicted viewing figure in excess of 200million for tonight's Champions League encounter with Real Madrid.
"In 2011, the Superbowl attracted an audience of 111million in the US and 169million worldwide," said David Prosperi, head of global public relations at Aon.
"During the 2010-11 season, Manchester United's global reach was four billion.
"These are not our figures, they were published by an independent data company.
"In other words, you would need 24 Superbowls to achieve the same kind of impact, and Manchester United's season runs for 10 months.
"What else could give you that exposure? Formula One has a season of similar length. But is it the same? I am not so sure."
At the beginning of their partnership with United, Aon executives concluded the value of having their name on pictures that would continue to be used decades from now was almost unquantifiable.
It was the Aon brand that flashed around the world when Wayne Rooney executed that staggering overhead kick against Manchester City at Old Trafford two years ago. The same when the title celebrations began at Blackburn a couple of months later.
There is the promise of more to come; tonight, this season and next.
It is the reason why United blitzed through the £100million barrier in commercial revenue alone two years ago and recent second-quarter results showed a further increase of 29 per cent year on year.
"From our perspective, our partnership with United has exceeded expectations," said Prosperi.
"We are really excited about the opportunities it has given us so far, and those that are still to come.
"We wanted to strengthen our brand globally. How better to do that than align yourself with the most powerful brand in the most popular sport?"