Applications for the cards will be accepted via APLUS and Shinsei Bank’s websites from Friday, 20 July, when there will also be application forms in Shinsei Bank’s branches. United will also begin promoting the cards on our official Japanese website, ManUtd.jp, on the same date.
On 20 August the Shinsei Bank Group and United will hold a special launch event in Tokyo, where members of the public will have the opportunity to write messages of support to the Reds players on a giant team shirt. Footage of the event, as well as a detailed image of the shirt, will later be uploaded to the campaign website.
United’s commercial director Richard Arnold said: “Manchester United has always had a fantastic following in Japan, with almost 50 million fans tuning into our games last season.
“Our partnership with Shinsei Bank Group was agreed back in March and we have both been working together to create products that will give our Japanese followers a range of unique incentives as a Manchester United card holder.
“Not only are the cards the only ones in Japan to feature the official Manchester United crest, applicants also have the reassurance of knowing they are provided by one of Japan’s premier banking groups.”
Sanjeev Gupta, senior managing executive officer and head of the Individual Group at Shinsei Bank, added: “We are delighted that Manchester United, one of the world’s leading football clubs, has selected Shinsei Bank Group as their partner to launch affiliate credit cards in Japan.
“Shinsei Bank’s Individual Group offers a wide range of financial products and services, ranging from asset management to loans, through our retail banking and consumer finance businesses.
“Launching these new affiliate cards, we will draw upon the synergies between these two businesses to provide attractive services not only to Manchester United supporters but also to the wider community of football fans in Japan.”
The cards are available in two varieties: a gold card, ‘Manchester United Card GOLD’, with an annual fee of 10,500 yen (including tax); and a standard card, ‘Manchester United Card’, with an annual fee of 1,575 yen (including tax).
Both cards feature a unique design, created especially for the Japanese market, which incorporates the United crest. A special gift – an official United key holder – will be given to the first 2,000 cardholders.
All customers who become cardholders during a special campaign period (20 July – 31 December 2012) will also receive complimentary United branded goods, according to the value of purchases made on the card.
For further details, please visit www.aplus.co.jp/card/mu/aplus/ (Japanese only) from Friday, 20 July.
The Shinsei Bank Group will continue to work with United to launch new initiatives attractive to Reds supporters and the wider football fan community.