Aon Corporation's world record £80 million shirt sponsorship deal with Manchester United is being applauded within financial circles.
The Times says United have 333 million fans worldwide - and 190 million in Asia alone - while their matches are watched around the world by even more people, because not every viewer is a fan.
Paying £80million over four years for a leading association with the United brand and that kind of exposure is cheap by other measures and universally appealing because of the massive and growing popularity of football. Try to reach a similar-sized audience through advertising alone and it will cost far more than £20million. Consider that a leading supermarket might spend £10million on its advertising in an average year in the United Kingdom and that's only for one country.
For Aon, an association with United takes them into a different league. You would expect a key sponsorship deal such as this to include valuable hospitality for Aon's important clients. For the sponsor that wants to gain exposure in growth markets such as Asia the deal is extra valuable. United are also a brand that has been managed carefully for a very long time, but with a record of sporting achievement too. It's a safe bet.