Wednesday 19 December 2018

Arsenal to increase their spending power from 2019 by an extra £20m a year with new shirt sponsorship deal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Photo: Reuters
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Photo: Reuters

Jeremy Wilson

Arsenal will increase their spending power from 2019 by around £20 million a year after agreeing a new shirt sponsorship deal with Emirates that will be worth more than £200 million until 2024.

Arsenal have also negotiated the freedom from next year to seek a first sleeve sponsor which is expected to be worth annually between £5 million and £10 million.

The new Emirates deal in itself represents an annual uplift from the existing £30 million deal of about £10 million and will put Arsenal joint second in the Premier League with Chelsea for shirt sponsor value.

The market is still comfortably led by Manchester United, who have an annual £47 million deal until 2021 with Chevrolet but also a separate training ground and kit contract with Aon that is worth around £15 million a year.

Arsenal’s new deal includes Emirates as the training kit sponsor whereas Chelsea and Liverpool, as well as United, have also generated additional income from separate training kit sponsors.

Chelsea’s main shirt sponsor is worth £40 million annually and up for renewal in 2020 while Manchester City and Tottenham’s are each worth around £35 million and will expire respectively in 2021 and 2022. Like Arsenal, Liverpool’s current shirt deal is also up for renewal at the end of next season and currently worth around £30 million-a-year.

Arsenal’s shirt partnership with Emirates, who separately have naming rights on the stadium until 2028, is the longest running in the Premier League – dating back to 2006 – and also the club’s largest ever sponsorship deal. It does underline, however, the ongoing dominance of Manchester United in this sector, as well also as the gap from the ‘big six’ to the rest of the Premier League.

Shirt sponsorship outside the ‘big six’ is generally worth between £2 million and £10 million annually. “Emirates are again demonstrating their great belief in our approach and ambition and their significantly increased investment will help us continue to compete for trophies and bring more success to the club and our fans around the world,” said Arsenal’s chief executive Ivan Gazidis.

As part of the extended deal, Arsenal will also fly on Emirates' planes for their pre-season tours including this summer’s visit to Singapore.

Despite now benefitting handsomely from the move to Emirates Stadium and the Premier League’s collective increase in broadcast revenue, Arsenal’s big financial challenge is commercial amid annual gaps to the two Manchester clubs that have been calculated at more than £100 million.

This deal will help address that situation and Arsenal will now be hoping to generate a significant uplift on their Puma kit deal, which also expires at the end of the 2018-19 season. Chelsea now have an annual £60 million Nike deal while Manchester United also lead this field domestically  with their £75 million Adidas contract. Negotiations for Arsenal, however, may be complicated by how Manchester City’s own Nike deal – worth around £20 million-a-year – also expires next season.

They themselves have been linked with Puma and their successes this season could prompt manufacturers to aim a bigger deal at Pep Guardiola’s squad. Arsenal are pushing to widen their commercial base and, as well as becoming the first club to partner a cryptocurrency, now list 26 partners on their website.

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