Africa Calling – Arsenal seal deal with Airtel

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Arsenal have added to their portfolio of regional partners by striking a deal with African mobile network operator Airtel.

The agreement, which affords the company the rights to use Gunners merchandising, hospitality and content in Nigeria, Zambia, Ghana, Uganda and Rwanda, is the second to be done in recent weeks with Malta Guinness also penning a lucrative sponsorship deal.

With a friendly match against Nigeria set to be played at the Abuja National Stadium in early August, it’s obvious that Ivan Gazidis is leading an aggressive marketing push on the continent as the Gunners look to take advantage of their popularity in the region.

Speaking about the latest deal, Arsenal’s head of global partnerships Vinai Venkatesham said:

“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.”

As part of the contract Arsenal will also support the Airtel Rising Stars football programme and provide UEFA-trained coaches to help the initiative.

In addition to the two regional partnerships, the Gunners also have eight official partners including betsson, Carlsberg, Lucozade, O2, Citroen, Thomas Cook Sport, EA Sports and Indesit and two lead partners in Nike and Emirates.

It is expected that this portfolio will continue to grow as chief commercial officer Tom Fox spearheads further global initiatives with a view to spreading awareness of the Arsenal brand.

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