United Airlines might not fly anywhere near Wrexham, but the Chicago-based US carrier has just become the front-of-shirt sponsor for the town’s recently promoted Football League club, which is co-owned by the actor Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.
With a population of around 65,000 people, Wrexham is the largest town in North Wales, close to the English border with Liverpool and Stoke-on-Trent but nowhere near Heathrow Airport in West London or Edinburgh, which are the only two cities in the UK currently served by United.
Geographic quandaries aside, Ryan Reynolds has managed to catapult Wrexham AFC to international acclaim after taking control of the beleaguered club in 2020. In April, Wrexham AFC won promotion back to the Football League after 15 years of relegation.
Reynolds and McElhenney announced the sponsorship deal with a skit posted to social media in which the duo initially suggested that the club was about to be renamed Wrexham United… not so, but United Airlines is going to be a major sponsor.
“The story of Wrexham AFC and their fans represents the best of what professional sports has to offer,” commented Josh Earnest, United’s chief communication officer.
“The passion and perseverance of this team on the rise has captured the imagination of people in the U.S. and around the world,” Earnest continued.
As part of the commercial tie-up, Wrexham AFC will be flying across the Atlantic on United flights for an American tour. Members of United’s MileagePlus program will get ‘special access’ to Wrexham AFC matches in the U.S. as well as in Wales through the MileagePlus Exclusives platform.
“We could think of no better sponsor for the next phase of our quest than United Airlines,” commented Reynolds and McElhenney in a joint statement. “The team, town and fans around the world are united as never before and United Airlines is committed to elevating our story and journey.”
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.