- Aeroflot became official airline of Manchester United earlier this summer
- Value of five-year deal was not disclosed
- Airlines increasingly seeing value in aligning their brand with football teams
- Both clubs and airlines look for new international markets and fans
(CNN) -- What does a Russian airline still shaking off a dubious reputation have in common with one of the biggest football clubs in the world? A match made in branding heaven if you're the marketing men for Aeroflot and Manchester United.
Earlier this summer the Russian carrier signed a five year deal with the English Premier League champions to be the club's official airline.
If it raised a few eyebrows among fans around Old Trafford who wondered if their team would be flying to their European fixtures via Moscow, the view from Russia is that the deal means a great deal indeed.
"Manchester United is one of the leading clubs in the world, with a fan base of 600 million," said Aeroflot's Alexander Lukashin. "We share common values of teamwork and are both leaders in the market."
Dave Chattaway, Brand Finance
The airline might be a market leader in Russia, but it has a way to go before becoming a major international airline.