MSC Cruises has announced it will extend its partnership as the official global cruise partner for English Premier League giants Chelsea FC with an additional three years until June 2024, according to a press release.
Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises, said: “The continuation of the partnership is further evidence of our commitment to the UK and Irish markets which are a key part of our global growth plan. Across the world we are working with key partners to support our journey and I am pleased to say that the Chelsea FC partnership will continue to be important in our goal to build further positive brand association as well as introduce our distinctive cruise experience to new audiences both in the UK and Ireland, and globally.”
MSC Cruises saw in the first three years of its relationship a year-on-year increase in brand awareness among the 2.6 million Chelsea fan base in the UK and Ireland.
At the start of the partnership 14 percent of fans were familiar with the cruise line with the figure now standing at 85 percent, according to the company.
Antonio Paradiso, Managing Director – UK and Ireland, MSC Cruises, added: “Despite the challenges of the pandemic the partnership has been a great success and I am thrilled to be extending it for another three years.”
“We began this partnership in order to reach new audiences, and increase brand awareness and I’m happy to report that so far we have exceeded this objective. We’ve seen great success in terms of engagement and customer acquisition and have had feedback from passengers and travel agents about how this increased visibility has driven them to book a cruise with us.”
Guy Laurence, Chelsea FC CEO, added: “We are thrilled to extend our partnership at this exciting period for the travel industry. We have worked closely with MSC Cruises over the past three years to support them in their strategic business objectives and this extension is testament to the best-in-class activations we have delivered with them to meet and surpass those goals.”
The Chelsea FC partnership is just one part of MSC Cruises’ long term strategic plan to grow the business in the UK and Irish markets.
The cruise line five years ago announced the intention to significantly expand its UK business and has achieved this with various long standing commitments to the market including supporting the building of the new Horizon Cruise Terminal in Southampton, and confirming that at least one MSC Cruises’ ship will homeport from Southampton, starting with MSC Virtuosa for the summer 2021 season.