British football club and global icon Manchester United signed an agreement with Dubai-based bank Emirates NBD on Wednesday. The deal makes the bank Manchester United’s exclusive financial partner for the next five years.
Emirates NBD participating cardholders will be given branded bank cards, the opportunity to win club memorabilia seasonal trips to Manchester’s Old Trafford stadium, as well as other benefits.
“We are proud to be partnering with Emirates NBD as this will give our fans in the UAE another platform to engage with the best club in the world. The Club has always had fantastic support from our fans in the Middle East and we are pleased to be able to offer them such a fantastic product,” said Richard Arnold, Manchester United’s group managing director, according to Emirates NBD’s press release.
“Sports brands have begun to influence consumer behavior and more and more consumers have come to expect payment solutions to suit their lifestyles and reflect their interests,” said Eyad al-Kourdi, the UAE’s business head of MasterCard, the bank’s participating card issuer.
News of the deal was met with an enthusiastic reaction from the UAE’s Manchester United Supporters Club.
“It's a great partnership and we are excited for the future of this deal. Not only will generate a lot of interest but also boost the fantastic fan base of Manchester United Football Club,” Raha Hadjarpour, the club’s treasurer told Al Arabiya English.
International football clubs partnering with lenders in the UAE is not a new thing.
Earlier this month, Manchester United’s rival FC Barcelona signed a three-year contract with UAE lender United Arab Bank.