‘Go the Distance’. Apollo Tyres & Manchester United launch new initiative to nurture young talent

22 August 2014: Manchester United partner Apollo Tyres is literally laying the foundation for the next generation of talent at the club. 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.

Manchester United legends Denis Irwin and Andrew Cole at the launch of the new Apollo community pitch in the shadow of Old Trafford

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.”

“All of us at Apollo Tyres are hugely proud of this initiative and it is only apt that we are launching our first state-of-the-art pitch at no other place but the Theatre of Dreams.”

L to R: Marco Paracciani (Apollo), Denis Irwin, Andrew Cole and Jonathan Rigby (Manchester United) opening the new pitch at Old Trafford

The company has 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 these pitches can 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.

Andrew Cole, Marco Paracciani (Apollo), Jonathan Rigby (Manchester United) and Denis Irwin celebrating the recycled tyre rubber pitch release

Manchester United Group Managing Director, Richard Arnold commented, “It is a fantastic opportunity for both the club and for Apollo Tyres to engage further with the local community. This was always an important aspect of our partnership when we announced it last summer and we are delighted to see the impact it will have on the local community in Manchester.”

“Manchester United is synonymous with developing the best young talent from around the world and it is a consistent theme throughout the Club’s history. With the creation of this community pitch outside Old Trafford, it proves that both companies are equally committed to encouraging the next generation of talent.”

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. 

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