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United’s spirits lifted by latest signing

• United announce Aperol Spritz as official spirits partner
• 'It's about success. It's about winning. It's about celebration'
Gallery: United's many money-spinning commercial deals

The latest addition to Manchester United's expanding list of commercial partners is adamant the club's global profile will allow it to remain attractive despite any short-term form problems.

On Friday, United confirmed Aperol Spritz as the club's Official Spirits Partner, in a deal that will run until 2017.

Such announcements have become increasingly familiar over the last few years, with the expanding commercial sector largely responsible for the vast reduction in debt incurred following the Glazer family's controversial takeover of the club in 2005.

Figures posted for the first quarter of the financial year, to September 30, 2013 confirmed commercial revenues of £59.9m, a 39.3% increase.

Yet, with the club seventh in the Premier League, facing a struggle to qualify for next season's Champions League and the new manager, David Moyes, facing an extensive rebuilding job to bring the kind of success the club has become used to for over two decades, there are fears United will not be as attractive to potential sponsors.

However, for the short-term at least, Bob Kunze-Concewitz, chief executive of Gruppo Campari, feels United will remain the prominent global sports organisation.

"United is the strongest sports franchise on a global basis," he said. "It has a very strong and loyal fanbase and that attraction doesn't alter. Once you are a fan of a club, it is for life.

"Ours is a mid- to long-term partnership, so we are very comfortable. We see it as a perfect combination. We share the same values. It is about success. It is about winning. It is about celebration."


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