Manchester United is one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world. Earlier this year a major survey revealed that the storied English football club had doubled its global fan base over the past five years to a whopping 659 million. Almost 90 per cent of fans are in emerging countries and Asia leads the pack with 325 million followers.

Estée Lauder has inked an exclusive partnership with Man United, as the club is affectionately known, as its first ever skincare partner. The major focus is to extend its footprint in China and APAC through the engagement of Manchester United’s fans in the region. The club has teamed with other multinationals such as Unilever and Remington through deodorant, electric shavers and men’s styling tools before, but this is the first time it has partnered with a beauty brand.

The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) have long been one of the most successful international beauty heavyweights in Asia and China, but the team up with Manchester United has enormous potential to fast-track revenues. The club has 250 million followers in China alone.

 The new partnership kicks off by shining the spotlight on Advanced Night Repair, Lauder’s number one selling serum. Launched in 1982 as Night Repair, it was the world’s first night time repair serum and the first mainstream beauty product to use hyaluronic acid. The cult classic, known as ANR to its legions of fans, has been revamped several times over the past 40 years and the latest iteration – Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex – is the most potent version yet.

Debuting this Northern Hemisphere summer, the vibrant inaugural campaign will feature players from Manchester United’s first team, including Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw, Alejandro Garnacho and Raphael Varane.  Dovetailing the worlds of beauty and sports, the campaign will reach out to fans on Manchester United’s social platforms with the key message of recharging the skin.

“The bold vision, creativity, and innovation of our trailblazing founder, Mrs Estée Lauder, continues to inspire us to disrupt and push boundaries. We are excited to collaborate with the world’s most popular football team on this first-of-its-kind partnership, and to expand Estee Lauder’s reach to new audiences of male consumers in an unexpected and ground-breaking way”, noted Justin Boxford, Global Brand President, Estée Lauder

As one of the most followed sports teams in the world, we understand the importance of educating fans on a healthy lifestyle, and skincare is an integral part of that process, said Victoria Timpson, CEO of Alliances and Partnerships for Manchester United. “In the same way our athletes prepare the night before a match with regular training rituals, heathy skin also requires a consistent and effective regimen.

“Advanced Night Repair serum provides skin with overnight preparation needed for users to wake up looking refreshed and ready to take on the day. We look forward to working with Estee Lauder in sharing the power of its Advanced Night Repair serum and encouraging our fans to start their skincare journey with us”.

The apothecary-style bottle and dropper delivery of Advanced Night Repair has strong appeal to men and a little goes a long way, making the global blockbuster a natural choice for the new partnership. In addition, Lab Series, the Estée Lauder Companies’ prestige men’s grooming range, has been targeting the Chinese men’s market for some time. In late 2021, the brand debuted a sleek, minimalist logo, new product imagery and more sustainable packaging, backed by a global campaign called Invent Yourself.

 Like all brands in the men’s category, the refresh looked to capitalise on the boom in the global men’s personal are market. The sector, including haircare,  razors and shaving accessories,  skincare, deodorants and personal cleansing, is expected to reach US$166 billion, reveals Allied Market Research. The Chinese and APAC men’s grooming market has experienced skyrocketing double digit increases in recent years and has become one of the main drivers of global growth.

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