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Aegon kicks off Ajax sponsorship deal

July 1, 2008

With the new season just a few weeks away, Aegon has kicked off its sponsorship deal with Dutch soccer club Ajax – a deal that will help strengthen the Group’s brand recognition, particularly in the new, emerging markets of Asia and Latin America.

Aegon sponsors AjaxUnder the deal, Aegon’s name will take pride of place on Ajax’s famous red-and-white jerseys when the first game of the 2008-2009 season gets under way next month.

Members of the Ajax squad will be wearing the new kit when the Dutch club takes on other top European sides Arsenal, Inter Milan and Sevilla in August’s traditional pre-season Amsterdam tournament.

CEO Alex Wynaendts said that sponsoring Ajax will help “strengthen Aegon’s brand awareness, not only in its home market of the Netherlands and throughout Europe, but also in many of the new emerging markets where we are building our presence, such as Asia and Latin America”.

Global Sponsorship for Global Awareness

“Soccer is a game that belongs to the entire world,” Mr. Wynaendts said. “Some of the legendary players who were with Ajax over the years like Johan Cruyff, Denis Bergkamp or Marco van Basten are as well known in Beijing or Mexico City as they are in the Netherlands. Only soccer has that kind of reach.”

Aegon believes the partnership with the Amsterdam-based club will particularly help the Group in fast-growing emerging markets such as China and Mexico where soccer is enormously popular and the Ajax name already well known.

In many parts of Asia and Latin America, for instance, there is a passionate following for the European game – last weekend’s European Championship final between Germany and Spain was watched by millions of people around the world, many of them outside Europe.

Ajax Success

Ajax has long been a dominant force in Dutch soccer, winning a total of 29 national league titles since the club’s first, way back in 1918. Ajax has also enjoyed considerable success in Europe over the years, lifting the European Cup four times – three times in successive seasons in the early 1970s.

As part of the sponsorship deal, Ajax will receive between EUR 10 million and EUR 12 million a year over the next seven years from Aegon – the precise amount depending on the team’s performance. Aegon believes its long-term support will help Ajax maintain and strengthen its position as one of Europe’s leading soccer clubs.