HCL Manchester United

HCL scores big with Manchester United story

A partnership with one of the world’s largest sports brands offers a huge opportunity for media coverage. However, a mention of the relationship was not enough. Spark and HCL, a leading IT services company, wanted the media to talk technology and the impact digital transformation can have on big business. With a name as big as Manchester United, Spark needed to fully capitalise on the potential interest in the story to bring b2b technology to the masses.


Get business, technology and sports media talking about HCL’s digital transformation expertise by using its partnership with Manchester United to showcase what it can deliver.


Spark normally advises against events but an event at Old Trafford is obviously not in the same league as a hotel conference room - we knew that it would be a massive draw for the media and an opportunity to spend a lengthy period of time with them. However, the challenge was ensuring that the story would meet the requirements of the most technical IT journalist as well as an entirely sports focused journalist with little interest in technology.

Spark worked closely with HCL and Manchester United to ensure that the event would appeal to all of the different media types. We built stories for each audience for example asking the players to talk about their use of technology and asking Manchester United to talk about the impact of digital transformation on it as a business and their vision for using digital technologies to bring the experience of Old Trafford to their 659 million fans worldwide.


The Event was attended by forty journalists and HCL had the opportunity to speak to top-tier media including the Financial Times, BBC, The Telegraph, Reuters. Volume of coverage was impressive and reached 200 pieces. Quality was also outstanding - it included a full page piece in the Business Reporter section of the Sunday Telegraph as well as a piece on Reuters that reached 27 million readers. This, along with an ongoing PR campaign has seen HCL become the fastest growing brand in IT services according to Brand Finance, with its brand value increasing by 38% in twelve months. The message that they would be able to delight their fans by using digital technologies to bring Old Trafford closer to everyone, not just the small percentage of worldwide fans that get to experience Old Trafford resonated well.

  • 40 journalists attended event
  • 200 pieces of coverage
  • Brand value increased 38% in twelve months