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Volume 7 No. 149
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Arsenal Inks $280M Deal With Emirates Through '24

Arsenal will increase its spending power from '19 by around £20M ($28M) per year after agreeing to a new shirt sponsorship deal with Emirates that will be worth more than £200M ($280.4M) until '24, according to Jeremy Wilson of the London TELEGRAPH. Arsenal reportedly "also negotiated the freedom from next year to seek a first sleeve sponsor" which is expected to be worth between £5M ($7M) and £10M ($14M) annually. The new Emirates deal in itself "represents an annual uplift" from the existing £30M ($42M) deal and will put Arsenal "joint second in the Premier League with Chelsea for shirt sponsor value." The sponsorship market "is still comfortably led" by ManU, which has a deal worth around £50M ($70M) annually until '21 with Chevrolet "but also a separate training ground and kit contract with Aon" that is worth about £15M ($21M) a year. Arsenal’s new deal includes Emirates as the training kit sponsor, whereas Chelsea and Liverpool, as well as ManU, "have also generated additional income from separate training kit sponsors." Emirates also has naming rights to Arsenal's stadium through '28 (TELEGRAPH, 2/19). The BBC's Bill Wilson reported the extension with Emirates "is the largest sponsor deal signed by the London club" and it will see the partnership, which began in '06, "run to at least 18 years." Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis said that the new agreement would see "significantly increased investment" from Emirates, "which would help the club in its quest for trophies." As part of the extended deal, Arsenal will also fly on Emirates planes on preseason tours. Meanwhile, "the airline will retain marketing rights to develop campaigns and initiatives featuring Arsenal around the world" (BBC, 2/19).

ENDING THE SPECULATION: THE DRUM's Taruka Srivastav reported the deal "puts an end" to the speculation that Arsenal was searching for a new shirt sponsor "amid reports Emirates was backing out of football." Emirates President Tim Clark said, "As a business, we are hugely committed to supporting sports all over the world and our relationship with Arsenal is no different" (THE DRUM, 2/19). In London, Robert Cottingham reported Arsenal was "thought to have been interested" in separating its kit deal from the stadium deal to maximize revenue "but later hit out" at suggestions it would end its shirt sponsorship agreement (DAILY MAIL, 2/19). CNN's Zahraa Alkhaisi reported Emirates is also a shirt sponsor for Real Madrid and Paris St. Germain. Its regional rivals "have also sponsored football clubs." Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad has sponsored Man City since '09 and Qatar Airways had a five-year deal with Barcelona until last year (CNN, 2/19).