MSC Cruises will look to target new-to-cruise football fans after revealing a deal to become Chelsea’s global cruise partner.
The multi-million pound partnership, which will run from January until June 2021, includes pitchside advertising at the London side’s home ground Stamford Bridge, digital marketing featuring Chelsea players and offering travel agent partners hospitality experiences at matches.
Announcing the tie-up at Stamford Bridge yesterday (November 22), Antonio Paradiso, managing director UK and Ireland, said players from across Chelsea’s first team, youth team and women’s squads, as well as ex-players, managers and club representatives, would “play a key role” at the naming ceremony of MSC’s upcoming ship MSC Bellissima in Southampton on March 2.
The news came as the line began the 100-day countdown to the ship’s launch, with Chelsea memorabilia also set to be displayed for guests inside the British pub onboard Bellissima – which will become the largest ship ever christened in the UK.
Paradiso said MSC’s “key priority” from the partnership was to “engage new audiences to MSC and to cruise” and had seen similar success in Europe after deals with clubs including Napoli, AC Milan and Bayern Munich.
“It can really amplify what we are doing,” he said.
He explained that MSC would begin by creating “fresh new content for football and cruises” to run across digital and social media during the wave booking period.
“We want to show a new way of looking at the cruise business with the club’s followers and by doing this in key moments of the year – one being wave – it will help push the message to new audiences.
“It will drive traffic and interest to travel agents. People will want to know more and I genuinely believe it will be a great opportunity for everyone.
He added that MSC would also be arranging “money can’t buy” competitions and initiatives for trade partners for hospitality experiences during games at Stamford Bridge.