Russia’s deputy prime minister criticised state-controlled airline Aeroflot’s sponsorship of English soccer club Manchester United on Tuesday, saying it appeared to show the firm favoured international over domestic interests.
Earlier in July, Aeroflot signed a five-year contract for an undisclosed sum with the English soccer champions, in a deal the airline’s chief executive said would promote Aeroflot’s brand worldwide.
“Aeroflot prefers Anglo-Saxon football and basketball clubs to our planes? I might invite them for an intimate talk,” said [Dmitry] Rogozin, known for his anti-Western rhetoric, on his Russian Twitter account.
Basketball? Oh, yes. Aeroflot has been a sponsor of the Brooklyn (formerly New Jersey) Nets since 2010, and has just renewed that relationship with the team and its owner, Russian zillionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.
Interestingly, while Aeroflot does fly into New York (JFK), they don’t yet have scheduled flights into Manchester.