As the domestic football season enters an international break and the transfer windows close, there have been a few on-field signings, like that of Bale to my beloved Spurs, that have generated genuine excitement.
Off the pitch, there was a sponsorship announcement that caught the eye.
Last week, AxiTrader announced a multi-year sponsorship deal with English football giant, Manchester City FC. In a double whammy, the online brokerage platform simultaneously announced the bold, new rebrand from AxiTrader to Axi.
I got the chance to catch up with Louis Cooper, Axi’s Chief Commercial Officer, and get the inside story on the company’s big news.
Why City? Why Now?
First, I was keen to find out why after 13 years, did Axi enter sports sponsorship now for the first time and with such a big club as Manchester City in the Premier League?
“This was the perfect time to enter sports sponsorship, coinciding with the launch of our rebrand and celebrating our positioning as a top 10 broker. Looking ahead, it is also a show of ambition.
“We are already present in 100+ countries and have an appetite to expand further, without compromising our award-winning service and proposition.
“Our partnership with City will help us to do this, giving us a unique platform with a widely loved and admired partner to drive global awareness. We are delighted to be part of the Manchester City family and our doors are open to millions of fans & customers across the globe.
“At Axi, we have a number of uncompromising values at our core and it was important for us to find a partner that shared the same outlook. In Manchester City, we share not just passion, resilience, trust and transparency, but also the drive for continuous innovation and excellence. Partnering with Manchester City also allows us to connect with millions of fans and we can’t wait to welcome City supporters from across the world into the Axi family.”
Did Coronavirus Affect the Deal?
Attention then turned to the details of the deal which so far remain undisclosed. With coronavirus restrictions in the UK preventing stadium attendance, I asked how much did this impact the decision making and negotiation process?
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Louis replied: “The pandemic is a new reality and, like any business, it is an important factor to consider. We were able to work with Manchester City to navigate this new reality. Like City, we look forward to the return of fans to stadiums in the near future – when it’s safe to do so. In the interim, we want to share our passion for the beautiful game with fans across the globe through enriched virtual experiences. In doing this, we want to really strike a connection with City’s fanbase, offering a unique opportunity for our global brand to increase awareness and welcome new traders to the Axi family. We are confident that our partnership with Manchester City will deliver immense benefits to both our clients and football fans. So while there may be temporary restrictions, we look forward to leveraging one another’s strengths to deliver more value to all our clients.”
What Can City Fans Expect?
I was keen to learn more about what the partnership would involve and what can Manchester City fans expect from the link-up?
“There are exciting times ahead for the Axi and Manchester City partnership. We are kicking off with a competition on the 6th of October, giving fans the opportunity to win a Manchester City home shirt signed by Kevin De Bruyne. They’ll also be other prizes on offer, including City shirts signed by club legends and Axi/City branded gift packs.
“Above all, Axi’s mission revolves around finding the edge for our clients and partners to succeed and we’re well aware of the impact and edge that fans offer their team on match day. Our activation will focus on connecting City fans with their team – a particularly crucial factor in the current moment that we’re living. As we await the return of fans to stadiums, we intend to extend immersive virtual experience and events to the City fan base across the globe to share our support for the team and the game. Watch this space!”
With more Manchester City and Axi collaborations expected to be announced in the next few days, I moved onto the rebrand, asking what was the thinking behind it and how long has this been planned for?
“As mentioned earlier, our work is motivated by our new brand purpose – to strive to give our traders and partners the edge they need to succeed. Our new brand embodies this purpose, while also epitomising our commitment to continually improving and innovating our award-winning service to give traders the edge, as we consolidate our position as a top 10 broker and expand into new markets.
“As part of the rebrand, we have simplified our brand name to ‘Axi’, making it easier for customers to find us and understand our proposition as a multi-asset class business. We are a platform for trading a wide range of assets including CFDs for several asset classes including forex, gold, silver, indices, coffee and other commodities.
“The brand refresh has been in the works for over two years and we are delighted to finally launch the new brand and announce our partnership with City.”
An exciting new brand refresh and a head-turning sponsorship with one of football’s elites is as good a way as any for an fx broker to enter Q4. We look forward to seeing the results on and off the pitch for both Axi and Manchester City.