English soccer giants Manchester United have agreed a new sponsorship deal with renewable fuels producer Renewable Energy Group.
It is claimed the deal will help REG raise awareness of its products and see the two work together to drive “positive environmental change".
United hope the partnership will enable them to build on their environmental record to date, noting that, in 2008, they were among the first football clubs in the world to launch a carbon reduction programme that has since reduced annual emissions from operations by 2,700 tonnes.
Collette Roche, the club's chief operating officer, said: “As one of the most popular sports teams in the world, the club has a powerful platform to help raise awareness of how people can contribute towards a cleaner, more sustainable future for our planet.
“We are already an environmental leader among football clubs after 12 consecutive years of reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions. We will now work with Renewable Energy Group to explore ways of shrinking our carbon footprint further.”
Cynthia ‘CJ’ Warner, president and chief executive officer of Renewable Energy Group, added: “As a leading producer of cleaner, bio-based diesel, it’s a natural fit for Renewable Energy Group to partner with another sustainability-minded leader like Manchester United.
“The world is at a critical juncture in which we are all recognizing that we must do more to reduce harmful emissions, and there is a growing desire to secure more immediate and practical low carbon solutions. Together, alongside Manchester United, we will amplify our simple-to-adopt opportunities for individuals and organizations to reduce carbon now.”
Earlier this year, global technology company TeamViewer succeeded US car manufacturer Chevrolet as Manchester United’s shirt sponsor in a five-year agreement understood to be worth in the region of £47 million ($64.6 million) per year.
Meanwhile top Dutch soccer club Ajax have partnered with soft drinks giant Coca-Cola through the Coca-Cola European Partners division.
As an official partner of Ajax for the next three seasons, Coca Cola has the opportunity to advertise brands from its portfolio via the club’s channels as well as to offer its products at Ajax's stadium and sports complex.
In addition, the brand will work with Ajax to offer “unique experiences” for fans.
Jaap Wassink, country director at Coca-Cola European Partners, said: "Ajax has a global image, great ambitions and supporters that expect the best; that also applies to us. We will develop special experiences for fans. In addition, we will be more visible than ever before and remain available in the Johan Cruijff ArenA, in which Coca-Cola has been involved as founder since 1996."
"The various Coca-Cola soft drinks will also be served at sports complex de Toekomst from now on. In recent years, we have put a lot of effort into offering a choice in both taste and sugar-free. With our wide range of responsible choices, we can respond well to the needs in the sports channel.”
Coca-Cola has existing ties to Dutch football through the partnership of its Coca-Cola Netherlands division with Dutch soccer association the KNVB, having renewed for a further year last October, and a long-running partnership with PSV Eindhoven.