(Photo: Eamonn and James Clarke)
Manchester United flew back Wednesday evening after a victorious trip to Saint-Etienne, beating the home side 1 to 0 and securing their place in the final 16 of the Europa League Competition.
In high spirits after a great night at the boisterous Stade-Geoffroy-Gichard, United boss Jose Mourinho stopped on his way out of Manchester airport to pose for pictures and sign autographs; but the most memorable moment was when he stopped to give his branded neck pillow to a lucky fan. Photographers leapt at the opportunity, and it splashed across headlines the next day on all major British news outlets.
Players and staff were all caught toting their pillows, provided by their mattress and pillow partner MLILY, with many found carrying them out of the flight gate whilst others still had them wrapped around their necks.
“Honestly I never thought they would be such a hit with the fans and press,” quotes Pomi Khan, SVP of marketing for MLILY; “We’ve been flooded with requests for them ever since they debuted on our flight from Ukraine’s Zorya Luhansk match in December.”
Designed specifically to help the players recover quickly while in transit, the pillows have become a highly demanded asset around Old Trafford. “The players absolutely love them,” said Khan; “It just goes to show the benefits of our partnership. From our sleep performance units at their Aeon Training Complex to having our specialized beds in each players’ homes, we’re preparing them for success at the highest level.”
And it’s starting to show. Unbeaten in 15 matches across all competitions, United holds the record for the longest current streak in all of Europe’s top 5 leagues. With a round of 16 birth secure in the Europa League, an FA Cup draw with Chelsea and an EFL final on deck at Wembley today, perhaps the Red Devils are on to something.