The other day it was revealed that Manchester United has just struck a deal with logistics company DHL. The value of the deal varied in the media, somewhere between £4M per year and £10M per year. As it is over four years (some articles claimed three) that makes the total somewhere in the range of £16M to £40M! No matter if it is the higher or the lower figure that is correct, that is no short of A LOT of money. And if you take into account what the deal is for, it is simply mind blowing. They have sold their training shirts! TRAINING SHIRTS! Alright, there is a lot more in there obviously such as business to business opportunities, marketing using all sorts of platforms and access to Old Trafford for certain events.
No doubt DHL will have checked twice if this agreement is worth the money. A little bit further down in the news bulletin that I got my hands on it talks about another part of the agreement. This is where DHL will work with the Manchester United Foundation in the development of a series of programmes to improve the lives of vulnerable young people in local communities. I think this in business language would spell CSR. Corporate Social Responsibility. Something that is getting more and more popular among major corporations, thank God. At the same time, there is no substitute for the kind of exposure that top end sport give. The beauty of Manchester United therefore is that they in this agreement offer both.
This is also where it becomes difficult for golf with the fragmented structure that we have got. One organisation offers top end golf. Well, numerous if you look across men and women and in various parts of the World. Another organisation, or other organisations, offer the grass roots perspective and the social aspects. And then the middle is full of organisations dealing with the so called amateur game. For a DHL that wants to tick all boxes there is simply nowhere to go. I think that is unfortunate!