Naming rights to Old Trafford will not be sold insist Manchester United after new sponsorship deal is agreed

AON have put their name on United's Carrington training ground

Manchester United have stressed they will never sell the naming rights to Old Trafford following confirmation present shirt sponsors AON have agreed an eight-year contract to put their name to the state-of-the-art Carrington training ground.

From July 1, Carrington will be known as the 'AON Training Complex' and forms a central part of a wide-ranging deal that also includes sponsorship of United's training kit, their annual summer tours and, for the first time, friendly matches.

As had already been agreed, AON will also become the principle partner of the Manchester United Business Network and also sponsor of the Manchester United Foundation.

No figures are being put on the contract. However, it is thought to be less than the £20million annual sum AON agreed to pay when they became United's shirt sponsors in a deal that will expire in 2014.

However, it will be higher than the £10million-a-year DHL paid to sponsor the Red Devils' training kit two seasons ago, considering the club bought the contract out earlier this season believing they could extract a more lucrative alternative.

"The first phase of our sponsorship was concerned with brand awareness of AON as a commercial business," an AON source told Press Association Sport.

"The second phase is about creating a global understanding of the capabilities that we provide for clients around the world."

The deal refutes any suggestion AON have been dissatisfied with their treatment by United, even though the initial sale of the naming rights to the club's training kit appeared to undermine their own position.

In addition, it has already been confirmed US car giant General Motors will have its Chevrolet name on United's shirts from 2014 after agreeing to pay an eye-watering £357million over seven years.

That United have added friendly matches into the new AON contract is intriguing as it means from their 2014 tour, they will be wearing two different companies on their kit.

It merely emphasises the huge marketing tool United have become in an era when televisual advances such as Sky+ allow viewers to flick through normal advertisements in a way they were never able to before.

However, that is bound to trigger suggestions United could try to sell the naming rights to Old Trafford.

Previously though, United insiders have said such a sale would be virtually pointless because, as Newcastle found when they tried to change the name of St James' Park to the Sports Direct Arena, it would merely irritate fans, who would not use the new name anyway.

Even members of United's own staff do not refer to Carrington by its formal title - the Trafford Training Ground - and club officials have been quick to rule out any similar deal for Old Trafford.

"Old Trafford will not be sold," said Ed Woodward, United's executive vice-chairman, who will replace David Gill as chief executive in the summer.

For their part, AON acknowledge that the Carrington name, whilst not having the same resonance as Old Trafford, may also stick.

"We are very aware and respectful of the fact some people will continue to call the training complex Carrington but in time, we hope they come to understand what the AON brand stands for," added the AON source.

"But we feel this agreement will enable us to do something with the club which is unique.

"We have been more than delighted by our partnership with Manchester United.

"Awareness of the AON brand increased from 39% to 50% in the first year of our sponsorship and the percentage of unique visitors to our website have increased by up to 55% on matchdays."

PA

News
people
News
A boy holds a chick during the Russian National Agricultural Exhibition Golden Autumn 2014 in Moscow on October 9, 2014.
news
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United player ratings
News
Jerry Seinfeld Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
peopleSitcom star urges men to be more supportive of women than ever
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
health
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Arts and Entertainment
books
Sport
Nemanja Matic holds the Capital One Cup with Branislav Ivanovic on Sunday
football
News
people
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th-century cartographer created the atlas
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot