Accor and Marriott put their best footballs forward
 
Accor and Marriott put their best footballs forward
25 FEBRUARY 2019 8:19 AM

Accor and Marriott International fully adopt the beautiful game and soon will go head to head in the most competitive club tournament of them all, while new planes will feel as though you are flying outside, or so one tech firm plans.

This week, Accor (just simply Accor now) and Marriott International made major stakes in two of Europe’s biggest soccer clubs, and a novel new plane design might change the way we fly—or at least look at the way we fly.

Accor and Marriott on opposite terraces
Accor is leading Marriott International, 0-2, thanks to goals from Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappé, who as far as I know are not hoteliers.

An explanation is needed …

On 20 February, the world’s biggest hotel firm Marriott announced its loyalty program has entered into a partnership deal with Manchester United, the very well supported English “football” team where David Beckham made his mark.

Then, two days later—last Thursday—during its full-year 2018 earnings conference call, Accor said it was doing the same for Paris-based soccer team Paris Saint-German, which is bankrolled by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund.

Both teams are huge, and therein lies the tempting prospect of a “Hotel Giants Derby,” a “RevPAR Rematch” or a “Battle of the Brands,” in which the two teams line up against one another to go head to head to give either Arne Sorenson or Sébastien Bazin spades full of bragging rights at the next international hotel-investment conference.

As Man U, as they are simply called, plays in the English league and PSG, as it is always abbreviated, plays in the French, these teams can only meet in European competitions that run every year concurrently with domestic ones.

This has happened, and indeed it will happen again on 6 March at PSG’s Parc des Princes stadium in Paris.

Teams win the right to enter the European contests if in the season before they did suitably well in their domestic leagues, and these two teams always do that.

I can see executives of both companies, who until this week did not know the meaning of the phrase “playing too deep” or “square ball,” flocking to buy team shirts, which in PSG’s case will as of the 2019/20 season and for a few years after have the word “Accor” printed on their fronts.

Bazin alluded to the notion that Accor intends to have a lot of goodhearted fun on social media with this development, especially considering that the matchup between the two is decided over two games, or legs as they are known.

In the first UEFA Champions League leg on 12 February, PSG beat United—as they are also shortened—at Man U’s ground, 0-2, thus having a discernable advantage that would be slightly embarrassing to lose at their own stadium.

I must have a word with both Mssrs. Sorenson and Bazin over the fact that yet again they have seemingly failed to remember to invest in my beloved West Ham United, the team I support.

Next time, eh!

Letting the outside in
I have twice in this column bemoaned the new airline idea of automatically dimming windows so that if it is 11 a.m., you do not need to worry, as soon trained airline staff suddenly will make it feel like 11 p.m. again.

This—my argument goes—makes it easier to see poorly executed animated movies featuring famous people’s voices but harder to see rivulets forming on the melting tundra across Iceland—that is, something truly worth seeing.

But I now see that a company called the Centre for Process Innovation, even if it has a slightly scary name, has come to my rescue. It is planning airplanes where all of the airplane, every inch of it, can be turned into a window so that you can see every inch of what you fly over or beside.

This, I judge, might scare the living daylights out of some people, perhaps myself, too, a victim of getting exactly what I asked for.

I assume they are perfecting a robust, artificial skin of some kind that can be turned into a screen, while also cutting down on surface area to save fuel and us, although unlikely, air fare.

The “windows” will also, so it seems to me the good folk at the CPI are planning, act as a touch-screen so that these same movies you purposefully did not see the first time around can be directed your way.

You can read more, or be terrified or inspired, here.

Email Terence Baker or find him on Twitter.

The opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hotel News Now or its parent company, STR and its affiliated companies. Bloggers published on this site are given the freedom to express views that may be controversial, but our goal is to provoke thought and constructive discussion within our reader community. Please feel free to comment or contact an editor with any questions or concerns.

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