Otago Daily Times

Lay­buy scores of­fi­cial part­ner deal with Man United

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AUCK­LAND: Buy­now­pay­later firm Lay­buy has signed on as an of­fi­cial part­ner of Manch­ester United Foot­ball Club.

While the New Zealand com­pany will not ap­pear on the iconic shirts of the Red Devils, the five­year part­ner­ship will al­low fans of the club to buy mer­chan­dise at the fa­mous Manch­ester United Me­ga­s­tore at Old Traf­ford sta­dium and spread their pay­ments with weekly in­ter­est­free in­stal­ments over six weeks.

Lay­buy

man­ag­ing

di­rec­tor

Gary Rohloff founded the com­pany around the kitchen ta­ble with his wife and son about three and a­half years ago.

An avid foot­ball fan, Mr Rohloff said he had sup­ported Manch­ester United since play­ing in the team’s strip dur­ing his school days.

He may not have ever risen to the pro­fes­sional play­ing ranks, but he de­scribed the spon­sor­ship deal as a ‘‘dream come true’’.

Asked how much he paid for the priv­i­lege of an as­so­ci­a­tion with Manch­ester United, Mr Rohloff would not com­ment, say­ing only he ‘‘con­sid­ers it as great value’’.

As part of the part­ner­ship, Lay­buy would look to fur­ther in­te­grate its of­fer­ing across a num­ber of the club’s other re­tail plat­forms in 2021, he said.

Tick­et­ing was not avail­able via Lay­buy at launch, but the team was eye­ing fu­ture pos­si­bil­i­ties in this area.

He viewed the Manch­ester deal as an im­por­tant strate­gic move for the com­pany to get name recog­ni­tion and vis­i­bil­ity in the

UK mar­ket, Mr Rohloff said.

The busi­ness had al­ways had global as­pi­ra­tions, but he never imag­ined the pos­si­bil­ity of work­ing with Manch­ester United, he said.

He has pre­vi­ously also signed a deal with Manch­ester United neigh­bours Manch­ester City.

Mr Rohloff has been push­ing its global ex­pan­sion hard since the launch of the com­pany.

Lay­buy now has more than 5500 mer­chants signed up to use its ser­vice in New Zealand, where it has 40 staff, as well as a pres­ence in Aus­tralia. And it is on a strong growth tra­jec­tory in Bri­tain, where the mar­ket is dou­ble the size of New Zealand’s and Aus­tralia’s com­bined.

Sign­ing a deal with the red half of Manch­ester is a ma­jor coup for the com­pany.

Manch­ester United is ranked one of the three most valu­able foot­ball clubs in the world, along­side Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The English club was last year val­ued at $US3.65 bil­lion and is widely con­sid­ered one of the smartest com­mer­cial op­er­a­tors in the in­dus­try.

Spon­sor­ing the club does not come cheaply. Adi­das pays £75 mil­lion ($NZ147 mil­lion) per an­num for its kit deal with the club. — The New Zealand Her­ald

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