After winning the FA Cup and the FA Community Shield, the Gunners couldn’t have possibility anticipated their 2020-21 season to go as badly as it eventually did. No trophy, sub-par and uninspiring performances, and no European football for the first time in nearly a quarter of a century; Arsenal are as average as they have been in the recent times. And yet, the hierarchy have stuck with Mikel Arteta, and if one were to look closely, they’d find little rays of sunshine emanating from the exciting prospect that is Arsenal’s up-and-coming youngsters. A lot has to go their way from the get-go, and if they manage to get some momentum in the right direction, the lack of European football might actually end up giving them some edge over their otherwise set-to-be-occupied league rivals. Here are Arsenal’s Official Partners going into the 2021-22 season.
Following are the companies and organisations that are enjoying a strong branding presence across Arsenal’s physical and digital assets.
Adidas – Arsenal signed a lucrative kit deal with German sportswear giant Adidas in October 2018. They agreed on a five-year deal worth £300m starting July 2019. With this deal ended Arsenal’s five-year partnership with Puma. The deal sees Arsenal boast the sixth biggest kit deal currently on the football scene (£60m pa approx.).
Emirates – Arsenal first struck a deal with UAE’s flag carrier airline Emirates back in 2006. Twelve years later, in February 2018, they extended their partnership to at least another five years, in a deal expected to be in excess of £200m.
The Emirates logo holds household recognition among staple football fans, with the text “Fly Emirates” (now “Emirates – Fly Better”) emblazoned across kits of many famous football clubs. The likes of AC Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea, PSG and Hamburger SV have had sponsorship deals with Emirates at some point in time.
Visit Rwanda – Arsenal looped in the Rwanda Development Board in a three-year deal in May 2018 that made “Visit Rwanda” the Official Tourism Partner of the club as well as the official sleeve sponsor for their matchday kits. This deal initially brought a lot of criticism upon the Rwandan government and even accusations of investing in a foreign football club from the coffers of the country’s crucial developmental aid. However, the deal has since proved fruitful for both parties, with Rwanda even observing an 8% lift in their tourism numbers.
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Acronis – Arsenal signed a three-year deal with the Schaffhausen-headquartered Swiss tech company in July 2018. Under the terms of the agreement, Acronis serves as the Gunners’ Official Data Backup Partner, tasked with their data security and statistics provision. Apart from branding rights, Acronis also gets the ability to stage business-to-business events with the support of senior Arsenal executives.
Ball Corporation – The Westminster, Colorado-based aluminium packing company signed a global partnership with Kroenke Sports and Entertainment (KSE) that covers all of their major sports teams – LA Rams, Denver Nuggets, and Arsenal – in October 2020.
The deal sees Ball become the official sustainable aluminium beverage packaging partner of Arsenal Football Club. The agreement sees the two parties explore opportunities to reduce the club’s negative impact on the environment while also undertaking educational initiatives in order to globally raise awareness regarding the importance of recycling and other green practices.
Konami – Arsenal first signed a deal with the Chuo, Tokyo-headquartered video game developer Konami back in October 2017 – a deal that they have since extended until at least June 2022.
The Japanese company, mostly famous for its annually-released football simulation game Pro Evolution Soccer (PES), holds image rights to use Arsenal’s players’ likenesses as well as have their home stadium in-game. Despite the deal, Arsenal’s stadium and players are licensed in Konami’s rival video game developer EA Sports’ FIFA series, given EA’s exclusive image rights deal with the Premier League. In July 2021, Konami announced a complete overhaul of their flagship football simulation offering PES, which would now become a cross-platform, free-to-play game called eFootball. Arsenal’s deal with Konami will see the club and their assets licensed in the game.
Santa Rita – The Chilean winery extended its deal with Arsenal in July 2019 to run until 2022 – a marriage that started back in 2016, making Santa Rita the official wine partner of the club. Apart from branding rights, the deal grants Santa Rita access to Arsenal’s legends for its promotional activities.
Socios.com – Arsenal signed a multi-year deal with cryptocurrency-based fan engagement platform Socios, which is powered by Gzira, Malta-based blockchain fintech provider Chiliz, in July 2021 to launch their own Fan Token. As the Official Fan Token provider of the club, Socios helps Arsenal offer their fans a chance to obtain Fan Tokens ($AFC) that will allow them to participate in several club-oriented activities. These Fan Tokens are limited in number and can be bought, sold or won in an augmented reality in-game (‘Token Hunt’).
Sportsbet.io – Arsenal signed a three-year deal with Estonian cryptocurrency-based online betting platform Sportsbet.io in September 2020. As per the deal, Sportsbet.io gets access to Arsenal’s men’s and women’s players for promotional activities. Arsenal coaches, on their part, are mandated conduct football clinics in Estonia for the country’s U19’s women’s team.
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Cadbury – In August 2020, Arsenal announced Cadbury as their official snacking partner. The Gunners joined Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Spurs as another “big six” club to sign a snacking partner agreement with the Mondelēz-owned, Uxbridge-based confectionery company. The deal allows Arsenal fans to buy Cadbury products inside the Emirates. The partnership also focuses on supporting the Little Wonder Café, a popular matchday destination situated near the stadium which was temporarily shut down during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Camden Town Brewery – London-based Camden Town Brewery acquired exclusive rights to Arsenal’s intellectual property when the two signed a three-year deal in July 2019. Camden Town Brewery serves as Arsenal’s official beer partner in the UK and Ireland in a partnership that runs until 2022.
Ganzberg – Arsenal signed German-based company Ganzberg as their official beer partner in Cambodia in September 2019. With the three-year deal, Arsenal aim to grow their fanbase in the country while also boosting Ganzberg’s popularity, who not only gets access to club’s branding across their assets but also works with the club to deliver annual coaching clinics in the region. Ganzberg also serves as Arsenal’s official regional fruit juice, soft drinks, and honey lemon tea drinks partner in Cambodia.
Intel – Arsenal signed a sponsorship deal with American technological giant Intel at the start of the 2019-20 season, a deal that was extended to another two years in July 2020. The deal sees Intel take charge of the technological support for Arsenal’s matchday highlights package, allowing viewers freeze match action and 360o replays.
Lavazza – Arsenal signed a three-year deal with Italian coffee brand Lavazza back in October 2018. The deal sees the Turin-based Italian company offer its coffee products (Tierra Colombia and Kafa Forest) at the Emirates and also avail exclusive rights to the Arsenal brand.
Octopus Energy – Arsenal signed a deal with London-based electricity and gas supplier Octopus Energy back in October 2016 as their official energy partner in the UK. Since then, the company has provided its solar resources to provide clean energy for all operations at the Emirates. Moreover, the deal also offers Arsenal fans clean energy tariffs and other various benefits.
Therabody – The Los Angeles, California-headquartered tech-based natural wellness solutions provider became the Official Tech Wellness and Recovery Partner of the club in February 2021. Covering the men’s, women’s, and academy setups of the club, the deal sees Therabody’s products made available across Arsenal’s London Colney Training Centre and Hale End Academy to help the players with training optimisation, reducing injury risks and accelerated recovery.