Samford’s Brock School of Business partners with Aon to examine the company’s global sponsorship of the Manchester United Football Club


Birmingham, Ala. – Samford University’s Brock School Professor Darin White’s MBA class recently completed an international sports marketing project examining Aon plc’s sponsorship of one of the most well-known sports team in the world -- Manchester United Football Club from theUnited Kingdom. Ten students spanning the globe from China, India and the United States were chosen to participate in this project.  White’s MBA class conducted a multi-country study to ascertain brand impact, top of mind awareness, and affinity transfer.  

 “We were given this opportunity to examine the most noteworthy sports sponsorship relationship in the world,” said Darin White, professor of marketing.  “This was a unique opportunity for Samford and its MBA students.  It is a sign of the ever-changing business climate when a class at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., can conduct research like this.  Especially because this sports sponsorship relationship has been covered broadly by the media around the world.”

 “This was a great opportunity for Aon to partner with one of the top international business schools, as we got a chance to work with future leaders of the next generation’s work force,” said Patrick Pierce, director of sponsorship marketing for Aon. “While the sponsorship with Manchester United strengthened Aon’s global brand, it also gives us tremendous opportunities to talk to clients and prospects about how our two organizations emphasize the importance of talent and teamwork to a successful business, and how we can empower results for them on two of the most important issues facing global businesses today;risk and people.”

According to White, the class had a real passion for the project and spent many hours working overtime to ensure that they produced a quality product for Aon.

 Student Derrek Smith added, “Having the opportunity to work on a market research project that involved Aon and Manchester United, one of the largest corporate sports sponsorship between two global giants, speaks volumes to the quality ofthe M.B.A. program. To be selected to lead this project by Dr. White was a truehonor and an outstanding learning opportunity. Whether it is Brock School of Business, Cumberland School of Law or one of the other top schools at Samford University, this university is truly providing a top level learning environment and real world skills training.  Aon’s selection of us to conduct this research seconds this statement.”

Another student participant, Sarah Yeager, went on to say that the project gave her the opportunity to apply theory to a real world situation, and that the experience has allowed her to practice skills that she has not before now had the opportunity to use.

Aon plc (NYSE:AON) is the leading global provider of risk management and human resourcing consulting and outsourcing solutions.  According to Forbes magazine, Manchester United Football Club is the most valuable sports team in the world.

About the Brock School of Business:

About the Brock School of Business at Samford University: 
The renaming of the Samford School of Business to the Brock School of Business in December 2007 is the latest in a long history of achievements for business education at Samford,which has offered degrees in business and commerce since 1922.  In 1965,the School of Business was established to offer both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business.  Alabama’s first part-time master of business administration degree program was established at Samford, and the first MBA degrees were awarded in 1967.  The master of accountancy degree was approved in 1995.  The business school was fully accredited by AACSB International in 1999, a recognition earned by less than 10 percent of business schools worldwide. The Brock School entrepreneurship program was chosen as the best new entrepreneurship in the U.S. in 2010 by the U.S. Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

 About Aon:

Aon plc (NYSE:AON) is the leading global provider of risk management,insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. Through its more than 61,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon unites to empower results for clients in over 120 countries via innovative and effective risk and people solutions and through industry-leading global resources and technical expertise. Aon has been named repeatedly as the world's best broker,best insurance intermediary, reinsurance intermediary, captives manager and best employee benefits consulting firm by multiple industry sources.Visit http://www.aon.comfor more information on Aon and learn about Aon's global partnership and shirt sponsorship with Manchester United.