Arsenal sign £150m deal with Emirates


Arsenal have announced a new five-year deal with Emirates worth £150 million.

The contract with the international airline, worth £30 million a year, includes shirt sponsorship until the end of the 2018/2019 season, as well as stadium naming rights until 2029.

The Emirates brand will also continue appearing on Arsenal’s training kits, while the new deal contains a number of marketing rights which come into effect immediately.

The agreement is being hailed as the second biggest shirt sponsorship deal ever, behind Manchester United’s seven-year agreement with Chevrolet – worth around £51 million per year, starting next season. However, with the Gunners deal comprising more than just shirt sponsorship, it is being seen by some as far less lucrative.

“This is an exciting day for Arsenal Football Club and all our supporters,” chief executive Ivan Gazidis said. “This agreement is a testimony to Arsenal’s approach and to the capabilities we have developed in recent years as well as the strength of our partnership with Emirates.

“The original deal with Emirates was a key facilitator of our move from Highbury and this next phase of our relationship will be just as critical to keep us at the top of the game in England and Europe.

Arsenal signed an initial £100 million sponsorship deal with Emirates in 2004, providing the airline with naming rights to the stadium until 2021 and shirt sponsorship for eight years, both beginning in the 2006/07 season.

The north London club are reportedly lining up a new bumper deal with Adidas to supply their kits, which would also see a vast improvement on their current deal with Nike.

Read the entire piece at ESPNFC. Meanwhile, The Guardian reports with further details of the Arsenal press conference:

“We can pay bigger salaries and I think we can invest more in transfer fees. How we make those decisions will be based on a manager whose judgment over the years has been shown to be absolutely outstanding.

“We do have cash coming in. We want to be able to invest more in the team now so we’ll have that capability in the summer. But [last] summer we also kept some powder dry so we’ve got the ability to invest if our manager finds the right opportunities in January.”

Gazidis received a hostile reception at Arsenal’s annual general meeting in October, but he is confident that this sponsorship deal will allow Wenger to appease those fans craving investment in the first team.

The chief executive also said that the cash injection will leave the club less reliant on revenue from the stadium, which has resulted in high ticket prices.

“There’s a lot of people that work passionately at this club who care about this club just as much as the fans do. Fans don’t have a monopoly on caring about the club,” he said.

Tim Payton, spokesman for the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, said: “Trust members now want to see this money spent on strengthening the team. It does give us a sizeable boost but the way you make money is by winning.

“What you want is a team that you believe can win the Champions League, rather than in recent years where we have just been competing in the Champions League to earn revenue.

“Ivan Gazidis has previously stated that increased sponsorship revenue will lead to lower ticket prices and we hope he will now review this going forward.”



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