Slowly the new Ajax shirt was raised up on the ArenA. Representatives of Ajax, AEGON and adidas beamed visibly. The introduction of the new home shirt also meant the start of the collaboration between Ajax and AEGON.
With managing director Henri van der Aat abroad, Ajax chairman Uri Coronel welcomed the guests on the car park of the Amsterdam ArenA. ,,And because the youth and amateurs will also be playing in this shirt, it seemed appropriate that I would be here'', said Coronel.
The chairman was happy and proud this morning. ,,We are delighted with this new partner. We owe a great deal to ABN AMRO, who have supported us loyally. But the natural moment had come for a change. AEGON fits with Ajax. We have an A-brand in AEGON and AEGON has an A-brand in Ajax. I hope that we can say in many years that it was a happy marriage.”
A marriage that started this Tuesday with the unveiling of the new Ajax home shirt by adidas, with AEGON horizontally across the chest. Alex Wynaendts, chairman of the board of AEGON, was also a happy man. ,,Ajax is a well-known, good and positive name. The latter is very important. I travel all over the world and Ajax always draws a smile from people. That's why we are also proud to be connected to Ajax. We are active in China and 200 million Chinese watch European football on television. They know Ajax. For us that is an opportunity to enhance our name recognition and together with Ajax we want to grow abroad. Not only in Asia, but also in south-east Europe and South America. We are looking ahead to the future with much pleasure.”
After TDK in 1982 and ABN AMRO in 1990, AEGON is the third shirt sponsor of Ajax, and that it was indeed a special occasion was also indicated by the large number of fans who stood waiting outside the Fan Shop for the unveling of the shirt and the moment it went on sale. Among them was Mitch van Egmond from Hilversum, who gets the Ajax shirt for his birthday ever since he was four years old. ,,In the first year without a number, but from 5 his age has been on his back”, said his mother, who was suprised by the many fans in attendance. From today, the number 14 is on the back of Mitch's shirt. But that will not be all. The money that this Ajax fan gets for his birthday, is spent on Ajax clothing.
For supporter Quinten it was also a memorable day. The young fan received the shirt from chairmen Coronel and Wijnaendts at the cash register.
It stayed very busy at the Fan Shop. As one supporter said it best: 'Real Ajacieden are the first ones there!’