DHL Man Utd Google+ Hang-out For Training Kit Launch

In the early hours of Valentine’s Day morning, official logistics partner DHL announced via Twitter that Manchester United lovers would have the chance to interact directly with several players at the first DHL Man Utd Google+ Hangout.


The @DHL_ManUtd tweet drove fans to find further details about the live online, multi-user video chat on Google+ via a bit link and the event was promoted as a platform to give fans the chance to find out more about their heroes and offered an opportunity to pre-post questions.


The week-ahead teaser tweet didn’t include either the specific time or the player participants – probably a good things as when Wayne Rooney, Johnnie Evans and Tom Cleverly did appear in the Hangout, slouched on black chairs in front of the usual DHL/Man Utd logo backboard, they were late for the advertised 12pm start.


The Hangout was part of DHL’s ‘The Journey From Good To Great’ campaign, launched on Google+ in conjunction with the new team’s training kit


The event was subsequently promoted on Man Utd official website with a press release that included more specific details and claimed the first-of-its-kind event was an innovative platform to bring fans even closer to Manchester United and its first team players.



Of course, prowling the digital platform there were the usual number of critical online trolls and mocking City fans attempting to disrupt the hangout. But that is to be expected.


On a more serious note, the delayed start coupled with the earlier than expected finish saw many of the online fan posts criticise the hang out organisation.


When the online live event eventually got underway, what did fans really learn?


A few trivial lifestyle insights emerged: such as all three agreeing Phil Jones was the worst dressed man in the squad, Rooney opining that Robin Van Persie wasn’t the brightest squad member and all admitting Patrice Evra’s control of the dressing room music was under threat from Danny Wellbeck and Ashley Young.


Most of the football-related questions were largely of the standard and banal type: such as Rooney’s opinion that Messi was better than Ronaldo and Cleverly answering a question about the chances of the Treble this year with the ‘taking each game as it comes’ cliché.


One of the few answers that seemed to have slipped past the media trainers, Evans admitted Anderson was the laziest player in training.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, most of the more interesting, albeit controversial questions sent in from participants were not put to the players.


The Hangout follows the launch of the latest DHL training kit – based on the team’s journey from good to great – which revolved around DHL invited players to a photo shoot at the clubs former training ground The Cliff.


The idea behind the photo shoot was to provide a visual glimpse of where Man Utd started and to reflect the team’s hard working values.


The pictures were accompanied by a web based history of the training ground, plus video content of players commented on what The Cliff means to them.




Oddly, around the same time as the latest launch, the media reported that Utd had signed a new eight-year deal with a new training kit sponsor from 2014.


It had already emerged that the club had called an early halt to the £10m-a-year DHL deal, which had been due to run for four years from 2011, by buying DHL out of the rest of the contract.


This early halt came after last July’s record $560m, seven-year, short-sponsorship deal with Chevrolet, which will see the US car giant replace Aon as shirt sponsor in 2014.


The club’s current vice-chairman and new chief executive Ed Woodward, who will replace long-term boss David Gill at the end of the season, told financial analysts ‘At the request of our new training kit partner, we have agreed to withhold further details pending a formal announcement’.




The central idea of using hangout to bring players closer to fans (wherever they might be in the world) and to provide an interactive visual and verbal platform for interaction and participation seems like a good one.


But like so many others, this much-hyped hangout was essentially just an old-school Q&A session. The set-up was formulaic, the questions selected to be put to the players were largely vanilla and disconnected, while there was something of a lack of animation and dynamism on the players behalf.


Overall, few fresh insights truly emerged.


Perhaps, as organisers and participants grow more familiar and comfortable with the platform and its possibilities, more personal engagement and genuine interaction will emerge.




DHL Google Hangout YouTube



Google Plus DHL Man Utd Hangout



Manchester Utd Official Website



DHL Website




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