The deal will allow Airtel to use the clubs merchandising, hospitality and content rights in Nigeria, Zambia, Ghana, Uganda and Rwanda, and by signing this agreement, Arsenal will be able to reach out to many of the estimated 42 million fans based in the African continent.
Airtel customers in the five countries will be able to enter competitions to win ticket to this summers pre-season matches as well as receive exclusive Arsenal-related content and news on their mobile phones, while Airtel will also be the official mobile operator for Arsenal’s 2012 Tour of Nigeria.
As part of the agreement, Arsenal will help Airtel with their Rising Stars football programme, which is a training initiative that offers young children the chance to take part in football in a safe place. The Gunners will also provide UEFA-trained coaches to help develop football in the African continent and also at an Arsenal coaching clinic for up to 50 footballers in London.
Arsenal’s Head of Global Partnerships Vinai Venkatesham told Arsenal.com:
“I am delighted to welcome Airtel into our family of Commercial Partners. This is the second long-term partnership arrangement to arise from the continent and we look forward to developing a number of exciting initiatives with Airtel, starting with our forthcoming tour to Nigeria in August. This underlines the depth of our following in Africa and how the profile of the Club continues to grow internationally.”
Airtel Africa Chief Marketing Officer, Andre Beyers, told Arsenal.com:
“Football fans across Africa are known for their passion of the great game. Arsenal’s exciting style of play and a history of working with the best talent from Africa will enrich this partnership and offer a wealth of opportunities for upcoming players and fans. The partnership provides an impetus to the Airtel Rising Stars in some of the countries that have produced amazing young talent and whose youth teams have gone on to win FIFA Youth and Olympic tournaments.’’
This is another exciting deal that proves Arsenal are making strides in improving the clubs commercial activities, and it seems they are keen to build upon the huge following the club has in Africa.