Man Utd’s ‘Paint The Plane’ Aeroflot Art Challenge

November saw nine Manchester United stars challenged to paint an Aeroflot plane on canvas in a promotional campaign revolving around a customer competition to win the signed artworks and generate awareness of the airline’s flight promotions.


The campaign is led by an online video revolving around a three-minute challenge at Old Trafford where the players’ artistic flair is judged by vice captain Darren Fletcher – who selects the top three works.



The initiative sees Aeroflot, United’s official carrier, offer fans a chance to win one of the nine signed paintings and two business-class return flights from Europe to Asia.


The Man Utd artists involved are David De Gea, Angel Di Maria, Ander Herrera, Ben Amos, James Wilson, Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young and Michael Carrick.


Fans can enter the competition one the combined team/sponsor website at manutd.aeroflot.com/promo, or by visiting Aeroflot’s pop-up gallery on the ground floor of the Trafford Centre on 22/23 November, where the top three works of art are on show.




While Herrera and Carrick are the only Man Utd players to show any kind of artistic talent, neither’s talent is going to threaten that of Manchester’s LS Lowry – who best work is permanently on show in Salford keys opposite Old Trafford.


The is the latest in a series of Man Utd activations from Aeroflot since it was unveiled as the team official airline in July 2013.


Russia’s largest airline signed up then as the team’s official airline carrier for five years in what was the club’s first sponsorship with a Russian company.


The Moscow-based airline replaced previous official airline partner Turkish Airlines.
The deal was initially announced during the summer as a joint press conference at the football club’s Old Trafford Stadium.


‘We have 18 million fans in Russia but we have never had a partner there,’ United’s Managing Director Richard Arnold said at the unveiling.


‘It’s a significant step for our first global partnership to be with one of the most successful and well-loved football clubs in the world,’ Aeroflot Chief Executive Vitaly Saveliev added.


‘We believe that such a great club as Manchester United will help us to promote our brand worldwide.”


While no financial details of the Utd deal were disclosed at the time of the announcement, it is on record that when Aeroflot signed up as the sponsor of Russian Premier League team CSKA iIn July 2012 it paid $9m (and gave the team the use of one of its Airbus A320).


Several stars of the Manchester United squad appeared alongside Aeroflot’s top management to launch the partnership at Old Trafford at an event that featured a replica of an Aeroflot business class lounge and a 20 metre-wide digital image of a Manchester United and Aeroflot branded airplane projected on the front of Old Trafford.


The players signed the digital plane which has since been featured across Aeroflot’s marketing channels including its website


The airline also showcased one of its airplanes outside of the Old Trafford stadium and by the time the new season got underway the following month in August, Old Trafford was dressed with huge Aeroflot banners and installations.



The team will use the Aeroflot fleet to travel to Champions League matches around Europe and worldwide. 


The club will rent a Boeing 747 from Aeroflot, personally outfitted with beds and business class amenities on a pre-season tour to Thailand, Australia, Japan, and Hong Kong.


Under the deal Aeroflot has an extensive set of rights to use Manchester United logos and players in its advertising campaigns and marketing initiative and by December 2013 the airline was already running an in-flight man Utd film on its aircraft.



A few weeks before the painting promotion, the airline also rolled out a man Utd themed TV ad, directed by Pavel Hoodyakov and produced by Korneliya Polyak.



The partnership runs through 2018 and was part of a general rise in global sponsorship profile of some of Russia’s biggest commercial brands – which includes Gazprom’s partnership with UEFA as well as Russia’s preparation to host the World Cup in 2018.


The objective behind the deal is for Aeroflot to use the relationship to help raise its global profile and boost its brand reputation.


Using sports sponsorships is a key part of its strategy and Aeroflot was also the official sponsor of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games and also has partnerships with the Brooklyn Nets basketball team in the USA.


Which only leaves one question: Does Aeroflot even fly to Manchester?




Manchester United & Aeroflot Paining Promotion



Manchester United & Aeroflot Joint Website



Manchester United & Aeroflot Joint Twitter



Aeroflot Sport Facebook



Aeroflot Website



Man Utd Website




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