Ernst Boekhorst, sponsoring manager at ABN AMRO, and Edwin van der Sar, marketing director at Ajax, held a press conference on Thursday afternoon at the Toekomst sports park to discuss the partnership agreement announced earlier today.
There couldn’t have been a more symbolic place than the Toekomst sports complex for this. The new partner, who has used the slogan ‘Partner of the future’ in its own promotion video, has bound itself to the place where Ajax works on talent development for the future.
Edwin van der Sar proudly welcomed the press: “Two weeks ago, we presented the new main sponsor. Today, we welcome ABN AMRO as the partner of the Toekomst. We are proud that they are here.”
The former keeper has fond memories of the bank: “Every morning when I come into my office, the first thing I see is the jersey I wore when we won the Champions League in 1995, with ABN AMRO on it, of course. I’m proud and happy that they are returning to the club.”
The director clarified that the sports complex’s name will remain the Toekomst and won’t be renamed after the new partner: “However, the Aegon Future Cup, the highly regarded tournament for under seventeens, will be called the ABN AMRO Future Cup next year. At Ajax, we feel it’s important to stay fresh. And that’s what we’re doing with our deals with ABN AMRO and Ziggo.”
Ernst Boekhorst is also looking forward to the partnership: “We’re looking forward to it. It’s been almost seven years since the name ABN AMRO has been on the jerseys. The choice for the future was carefully weighed. ABN AMRO will put forward a more social sponsorship, and we’re looking out for the development of talent.”
In order to reinforce his words, Boekhorst showed a film showing the four areas in which ABN AMRO wants to play as a sponsor. Sports, Art and Culture, Education and Entrepreneurship. The film ends with a nice line ‘We can’t wait to see what the future will bring.”
Boekhorst: “Ajax is the first tangible example of our new sponsorship direction. It’s amazing to work on this. I’m very much looking forward to working with the Ajax Foundation. If more people focus more on doing social work, then that reflects on us too. I’m especially pleased that we’ll be more visible through this connection.”
As a closing to the official press conference, the jersey was handed over to Boekhorst by Wim Jonk, who is responsible for the youth academy from the technical heart: “Lots of work has gone into this partnership. I still have the 1991 jersey in my closet.” Handing over the jersey triggered memories: “I’m going back in time. This jersey could have come straight out of my closet!”
Jerseys with the ABN AMRO name won’t be for sale, says Van der Sar: “The jerseys with Ziggo will be available for sale per December 1. But the ones with ABN AMRO won’t be for sale.” Ziggo will also adorn the women’s line in the shops.
It’s clear from the presentation that ABN AMRO will once again be in a vertical position on the jerseys. Boekhorst: “We considered placing it horizontally, like we do in hockey, but as a tribute to the successful history, we thought it was appropriate to place it vertically, just like back then.”