A massive Rick and Morty mural is being erected on the stadium front of Old Trafford and people online have been scratching their heads as to the reason why.
Pictures of the large multi-panel banner being assembled outside the East Stand, hanging just above the United Store entrance, began circulating on social media on Tuesday, 28 September.
But even before then, single posters of the titular characters were spotted flanking either side of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand.
Given how many people travel past this iconic landmark every day, seeing two giant images of arguably the most popular cartoon characters in the world right now is sure to have caused a few double-takes.
Manchester United fans and tourists are more than used to seeing the latest United campaign, player collage or special poster – the latest being the tribute to Queen Elizabeth II – but it isn’t often you’ll see an external brand take up this kind of wall space. Well, ad space.
As many of you may have guessed already, the Rick and Morty poster outside Old Trafford is, of course, another marketing idea and although the Red Devils don’t have a sponsorship deal with Adult Swim or Netflix, they do have one with Adidas.
It may have slipped past you over recent months, but the hit animation has recently partnered with the sportswear brand for a number of adverts such as promoting their new X Speedportal football boots.
Official Adidas athletes like Liverpool’s Mo Salah and Arsenal Women’s Dutch forward Vivianne Miedema both starred as their animated selves for a fictionalised game. However, the ad campaign clearly hasn’t stopped there.
Like Miedema herself, Arsenal have been an official Adidas partnered club since 2018 and they too helped promote what the show describes as their “living” episode, ‘Wormageddon’ to celebrate the launch of the sixth season. This involved a number of statues dotted around the Emirates Stadium:
With that in mind, while we ascertain the exact nature of this Rick and Morty x Adidas x Manchester United ad, if you look closely at what portions of the posters have already gone up, there’s a clear hint at what the club are getting out of it.
Besides wearing the Adidas mentioned above, if you closely at the image of main character Rick, you can see he is wearing what looks to be United’s recently released third kit under his trademark lab coat:
So there you have it; it might have looked a bit of an odd sight at first glance but there’s actually a very logical explanation.
At the end of the day, United have so many commercial partners at this point, we wouldn’t put it past them to secure a direct partnership with Rick and Morty somehow. They did one with Deadpool after all.
Antony‘s case is still ongoing, with a total of three women coming out to accuse him of domestic abuse — chiefly, his ex-girlfriend Gabriela Cavallin, who was first to raise concerns surrounding his alleged behaviour — but his cooperation through the investigation has led them to revise their position.
Issuing an update on Friday morning confirming that the forward with be brought back into the fold until the situation is resolved.
A club statement reads as follows: “Since allegations were first made in June, Antony has co-operated with police inquiries in both Brazil and the UK, and he continues to do so.
“As Antony’s employer, Manchester United has decided that he will resume training at Carrington, and be available for selection, while police inquiries proceed. This will be kept under review pending further developments in the case.
“As a club, we condemn acts of violence and abuse. We recognise the importance of safeguarding all those involved in this situation, and acknowledge the impact these allegations have on survivors of abuse.”
Erik ten Hag‘s side plays their second game against Crystal Palace in less than a week after beating them 3-0 in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday and while it is not thought Antony will be brought straight back into the team, he will be available for selection moving forward.
United currently sit ninth in the Premier League with three wins and three losses to their name.
Man United to play Newcastle in Carabao Cup fourth round after Magpies knock out Man City
Last season’s Carabao Cup winners, Man United, now know their opponents for the next round after Newcastle United beat Man City 1-0 on Wednesday night, meaning both 2022/23 finalists will once again be meeting each other.
Either way, Alexander Isak’s single goal in the game at St James’ Park was enough to see the Magpies make it past the treble-winners despite a dominant first-half display from the away side.
Here’s the game-winning moment:
After receiving a yellow card during the game, the night ended with Guardiola fuming at referee Chris Kavanagh and exchanging more than a few words after the full-time whistle.
Clearing the moment up with reporters after the game, Pep said: “I don’t know how many fouls they did, how many fouls we had and the number of yellow cards, but it is what it is — sometimes the emotions are there. Respect for the referees and their job, a well-deserved yellow card.”
Nevertheless, the result has led to a repeat of last year’s culminating cup tie which, despite coming much earlier in the competition this time around, will see United facing off against a high-flying Newcastle team who just put eight goals past Sheffield United on this past Sunday.
The Magpies’ manager, Eddie Howe, has already said he and his side are aiming to “go one better” than they did last year and with the form they’re displaying at the moment — especially with United’s stuttering start — they stand a pretty good chance.
Elsewhere amongst the Premier League sides remaining in the competition, West Ham will host Arsenal, Bournemouth will play Liverpool at home and Sean Dyche’s Everton will play his old club Burnley.
Further down the footballing pyramid, Fulham visit Championship side Ipswich, Chelsea will host Blackburn and at least two other EFL sides will make it to the quarter-finals, with Mansfield at home to Port Vale and Exeter playing Middlesbrough.
All fourth-round ties are set to take place in the week commencing 30 October.
You can watch the highlights of Newcastle United vs Manchester City down below.