The recent publication of Arsenal’s interim financial statements included developments which mark the rejuvenation of the commercial department. The Chairman welcomed World Remit, Cover-More, CashBet Coin, Hyde Park Developments, Universal, Konami, and Cavallaro Napoli on board as new commercial partners.
These arrivals come on the back of the record-breaking deal with Emirates for a new shirt sponsorship. With the Premier League permitting shirt sleeve sponsors, Arsenal will look to exploit this opportunity in the future.
Arsenal are looking at the business side of the football club as their route to expand revenues. 780 new Club level seats are coming over the next two seasons, work occurring during the close season. Elsewhere, Dial Square will be upgraded as well. The corporate side of the club seems to be on the up, a plus for those involved, particularly after the hail of criticism in recent years.
The club lags behind Europe’s elite when it comes to the commercial revenues and development of partnerships. Manchester United, for example, have four lead partners and 18 official partners compared to Arsenal’s two and five. England’s biggest club has 24 regional and other partners to our 19. We’re lagging and know it. But all the while, we’re getting better at making the deals. We need volume, as well as quality.
While we won’t catch up to the likes of United, the diversity of our partners underlines the appeal of the Arsenal brand. Industries with a traditional football tie-in such as fashion (Cavallaro Napoli), fitness and health (Vitality / Gatorade) and television (BT Sport), are joined by 21st-century businesses, including some interesting developments in cyber-related industries.
Cyber Developments Catch Club’s Eye
Meanwhile, Josh Kroenke is spending three months across the business, understanding it more. His experience is key to the “development of an e-sports strategy”. Other clubs – Roma, Schalke, Manchester City – are blazing a trail with professional players/teams signed up; Arsenal has a lot of catching up to do in this respect. The prospect of becoming associated with events which get 1.5m viewers online is too good to resist, surely?
It’s part of Arsenal maturing as a business. We embraced the digital currency markets by signing a deal with Cashbet Coin, who recently launched their own crypto-currency for online gaming. Embracing new technologies puts us in a strong position to grow into these areas. The Cashbet Coin deal, for example, is the first any major football club has signed.
Times are changing. The commercial department has grown from a few advertising boards between the half-time scoreboards to a multi-faceted department; the retail arm grew from Jack Kelsey’s shack beside the Clock End, the club is beginning to come of age.