Manchester United partner Apollo Tyres is laying the foundation for the next generation of talent at the club…literally. For the India headquartered tyre company is using 100% recycled rubber from its own tyres to create the surface for a new state-of-the-art community pitch within the Old Trafford premises.
The first of the ‘Go the Distance’ pitches is adjacent to the Theatre of Dreams and will be available for the local community to test out and hone their football skills. The pitch has been specifically designed around three key challenges incorporating control, agility and accuracy, key performance aspects of Apollo Tyres’ products. Commenting on the initiative, Marco Paracciani, Chief Marketing Officer, Apollo Tyres Ltd said, “Sustainability is a key element of our philosophy and we have found an innovative way to use recycled rubber while at the same time making a long-term investment for the benefit of the local community. In our role as sponsor of Manchester United, we want to support the local community and the construction of our first ‘Go the Distance’ pitch is proof of our commitment.”
The company has in fact used roughly 10 tonnes of recycled rubber, an equivalent of 2200 tyres, for the community pitch at Old Trafford. The initiative is in line with Manchester United’s objective of encouraging young talent. The club has a long-standing tradition of youth investment and development and Apollo Tyres hopes that the pitches can also act as a springboard for another wave of talented young players from the local communities.
The club’s world famous reputation for nurturing talent dates back to the 1950s and the Busby Babes, while current assistant manager Ryan Giggs, one of the most famous products of the club’s famed youth system, himself gave first team debuts to 18-year-old James Wilson and 20-year-old Tom Lawrence late last season. With youth development a key component in Manchester United’s DNA, the Club continues to focus on the next generation of talent under new manager Louis Van Gaal.
As part of the announcement, Apollo Tyres has confirmed an extension to the partnership with Manchester United across Europe, Asia and Africa and will be the Manchester United’s Official Tyre Partner in 69 countries.