Success is always a blend. And that has never been more apparent when Chivas joined forces with Manchester United as the club’s Global Spirits Partner in 2018.
Both iconic global brands with glorious and storied histories, neither have looked back since their multi-year global partnership, which celebrates their collective belief that blended is better – in life, football and Scotch.
Just as Chivas Regal is a blend of rich, generous and silky-smooth Scotch whisky, the stars of Manchester United combine skill, passion, drive, philanthropy, pride and slick moves in their quest for more glory.
The dream for United fans is to get closer to their heroes – to view every diagonal pass that Nemanja Matic makes, the countless perfectly-timed tackles that Victor Lindelof puts in, and each time Harry Maguire sends a thumping header flying into the back of the net.
And Chivas continually strives to make that happen, from sending fans to England to catch live matches or getting the Red Devils faithful up close and personal with the players whenever the club embarks on one of its many tours across the globe.
However, the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to travel and the ability to view the matches live. Unable to bring fans to Old Trafford, Chivas then decided to bring Manchester United to the fans.
Last November, Chivas offered Red Devils supporters in Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Cambodia a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet current United players via a video call and ask them questions, plus the chance to win game day kits, signed jerseys and Chivas premiums. (Watch video above.)
From over 2,000 fans who submitted their entries, 60 winners were selected. The dream became reality last February 23 when the fans – many of them decked out proudly in their red United jerseys – eagerly logged on and found themselves virtually face to face with Maguire, Matic and Lindelof.
The mood of the virtual meet-and-greet was one of liveliness, friendliness and enjoyment. Or in another word: Conviviality. Unsurprising, given Chivas strives to be “Créateurs de Convivialité”.
It was impossible to wipe the smiles off the fans’ faces that day. Some just looked on adoringly. The bolder ones even grabbed the opportunity to address one of their idols by name. One fan showed Matic a jersey he had with the Serb’s name and number on the back, immediately eliciting a smile from the United midfielder.
Greeting the crowd with warm smiles, Maguire, Matic and Lindelof answered questions, ranging from the lighthearted to the more serious, their fans were dying to ask. Here are some highlights:
What is the best match you have ever played for United and why?
“My favourite match to date was my debut against Chelsea. All my family and friends were in the stands, the stadium was full and obviously, the great result we got that day – the 4-0 win and a clean sheet – was a perfect debut for myself.” – Maguire
With the Covid pandemic, does the game without fans affect your performance?
“I think it affects everyone when you play without supporters. Of course, we always try to adapt and to give our best but it’s not the same when 75,000 people come to support you.” – Matic
Who was your football idol in your early days?
“When I was younger, I just liked to watch the game of football. I really didn’t have one player that I idolised. I just liked to watch the game and learn as much as possible.” – Lindelof
For fans who have supported the club from yesteryear, there was even an appearance by the legendary Denis Irwin, United’s ever-reliable and irreplaceable left-back from the Treble-winning 1998/99 season.
Fans also got a chance to win some prizes through quizzes, and – just like United vying for honours – there was no shortage of contenders ready to give the correct answer.
The chance to speak to their favourite players was undoubtedly an unforgettable experience, but was it also the most memorable United moment for these supporters? That was the question they had to answer in order to win the biggest prize of the day, a signed jersey, with the winning answer chosen by Irwin himself.
When asked about his definition of “the United way”, United captain, Maguire, replied, “Winning” – which comes as no surprise, given that United look firmly on the road back to success under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
United have certainly been doing plenty of winning this season. Matches for now, silverware soon enough.
And whether it’s sending loyal supporters from all over the world to the thick of the action, or bringing the action straight to the fans, Chivas will ensure the United faithful are every bit a part of the blend for success.
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