Smirnoff strikes deal with Manchester United.
Wednesday, 9th July 2008
Source : Diageo
Today Diageo launched a two-year partnership with Manchester United for its SMIRNOFF vodka, in Asia Pacific.

The partnership will be activated with a through-the-line campaign 'Spirit of Champions' later this year.  The theme of the campaign reflects the behavior and determination required to be the best and stay at the top your game. 

A key element of the campaign will also communicate the responsible drinking message under the theme ‘United against drink driving'.  

The partnership, a first for the English Premier League (EPL) club with a spirit brand, will provide a powerful platform for the SMIRNOFF brand to demonstrate its position as the world's number one premium spirit1 in this region.

Asian consumers are guaranteed to have the opportunity to experience the EPL club in new and exciting ways throughout the partnership with the vodka that was revealed as 'hands-down favorite' in an independent blind taste test of 21 world-class vodkas by The New York Times2.

The new through-the-line campaign will launch in six key Asian markets; China, India, Japan, Korea Thailand, and Vietnam, from September 2008.
'We are encouraged by the opportunities that this breakthrough partnership will deliver for the SMIRNOFF brand and our consumers in Asia Pacific, as we bring two of the world's most successful brands together,' comments, James Thompson, marketing and innovation director, Asia Pacific.

'We believe the partnership will have immediate and sustainable appeal with our target audience and also provide the SMIRNOFF brand with a unique platform to take the lead in promoting responsible drinking through targeted and engaging programmes.  As a company, we have made a long term commitment to promoting responsible drinking and it will be a key element of our activation. We are already working in partnership with the club on an interactive programme for employees which focuses on alcohol information, awareness and the choices people make when they drink and the importance of drinking responsibly,' said Thompson.

David Gill, Chief Executive of Manchester United comments, 'We have 81,000,0003 fans in Asia and growing, we are delighted to welcome SMIRNOFF vodka as one of our highly-valued partners.  We look forward to working together to promote the SMIRNOFF brand in Asia and strongly support the use of the sponsorship as a platform for responsible drinking.  This is an important aspect of our partnership and we are committed to working together to deliver this message in Asia.'

1 Impact Databank February 2008
2 The New York Times, 26 January 2005
3 TNS Fanbase Survey 2007

Diageo takes responsible marketing very seriously and abides by local regulatory marketing codes, as well as strict self-imposed guidelines (the Diageo Marketing Code), to ensure we market our brands responsibly and to adults only of legal purchase age and above.

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