Looking for the perfect gift for your child—and one that can only appreciate in value? Try the Manchester United AIG Fleece Suit. Only $15, and, oh, baby! What a name! And it comes only in red, perfectly matching the red ink of giant insurer AIG. Manchester United, the world’s most popular sports team, inked a sponsorship and advertising deal with NYC-based AIG back in 2006. In soccer, these deals (AIG paid Man U $100 million) are magnified by the fact that, unlike in the U.S. pro leagues (and it’s only a matter of time), players wear sponsors’ logos on their jerseys. So “AIG” has been plastered on Man U’s players for three years now. That deal is now kaput, and Chicago insurance giant AON has signed a huge naming-rights pact with the English club, starting in the 2010–2011 season. Meanwhile, Man U’s AIG jersey is a smokin’ deal for taxpayers: You’re paying only $15 for the jersey; you’ve paid $182 billion—so far—to bail out AIG. And, no matter how you look at it, it’s 100 percent fleece.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 21, 2009