Fresh off their 7-0 drubbing of the Seattle Sounders yesterday in an international friendly, (a match in which Wayne Rooney had a hat trick despite playing just one half) Manchester United F.C. announced a soccer clinic with the Chicago chapter of the Special Olympics.
Players and coaches from Manchester United (nicknamed the Red Devils) and Special Olympics Illinois will host a Skills and Drills soccer clinic for Special Olympics athletes with the support of coaches from the Chicago Fire on Friday, July 22 on the campus of University of Illinois-Chicago. The event is sponsored by Aon Corporation (NYSE:AON), the principal partner and shirt sponsor of Manchester United, and run in association with the Manchester United Foundation, the charitable arm of Manchester United.
As Chicago is the third stop on Manchester United’s 2011 North American tour, the club will play a friendly match versus the Chicago Fire on Saturday, July 23 at Soldier Field.
The event will no doubt bring awareness to Special Olympics causes as the football club is one of the most iconic in the world.
Manchester United is a global brand; a 2009 report valued the club’s trademarks and associated intellectual property at £329 million, and gave the brand a strength rating of AAA (Extremely Strong). In 2010, Forbes magazine ranked Manchester United second only to the New York Yankees in its list of the ten most valuable sports team brands, valuing the Manchester United brand at $285 million (16 percent of the club’s $1.835 billion value).The club is currently ranked third in the Deloitte Football Money League (behind Real Madrid and Barcelona).
The core strength of Manchester United’s global brand is often attributed to Matt Busby’s rebuilding of the team and subsequent success following the Munich air disaster, which drew worldwide acclaim. They are also the most successful club in EPL history, having won 19 league titles, 11 FA Cups and 4 League Cups
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports You can follow him on Twitter