Why ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ sold Western Union on Liverpool FC’s sleeve sponsorship

Elizabeth Chambers of Western Union (left)

Financial services company Western Union earlier this week signed up to be one of the early adopters of the Premier League’s newly rolled-out sleeve sponsorship, throwing in with Anfield-based Liverpool FC on the knowledge that both brands share the same ethos.

Elizabeth Chambers, chief strategy, product and marketing officer at Western Union, told The Drum that the company was considering a sleeve sponsorship with Liverpool FC ever since the initiative was launched back in March.

With Stoke and Southampton already making full use of the new revenue stream, Western Union followed. With multiple teams currently up for grabs, Chambers explained why they threw in with Liverpool.

“Football connects the world in a way like no other and Liverpool FC is a global organisation with an unparalleled reach and passionate followers in almost every territory," she said.

Chambers dubbed the partnership a “perfect match”, adding, “As the Official Money Transfer Partner, we can directly connect with and offer the benefits of our business to Liverpool FC and the millions of active fans all over the world".

There were two factors that both brands reportedly had in common, according to Chambers: “We’re both global brands that serve a global audience, fans and customers, and we have great passion for the communities in which we live".

The global, digital savvy audience was a suitable group to connect with. Furthermore, the club’s iconic anthem, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ was a desirable ethos for Western Union to be associated. Chambers argued that the song underlines that the club shares values with Western Union.

In addition to being a sleeve partner, WU also serves as the official money transfer partner of LFC, positioning it as the de facto money transfer utility of choice for fans. Furthermore, there’s a B2B component to the tie-up, mostly based around club financial services globally. These include WU Edge, FX platform and the Mass Payments service that looks to unlock flexible global transactions. There’s more to come, the brand is in early discussions about hosting a globe-spanning Western Union Cup.

It is clear the tie-up represents more than a sleeve sponsorship, as Western Union brings its expertise to multiple aspects of the club’s wider operation.

John McCarthy

John is an entertainment marketing reporter at The Drum. He writes about the amazing marketing stories coming from the movie, TV, music and video game industries. He's also the hunt for the weirder trends in marketing and advertising.

Fuelled by tea.

All by John