Arsenal to rack up pre-season air miles

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Arsenal look set to go globe trotting this summer, in an effort to win new fans and increase ‘brand’ awareness.

A report in this morning’s Guardian suggests that Arsenal will play pre-season games in Seoul, Beijing and Hong Kong, before playing a match in Nigeria.

Arsene Wenger has famously been reluctant to embark on overseas trips in the past, last summer’s far eastern jaunt at odds with the sedate Austrian training camp the manager prefered to use to get his players ready.

Arsenal have been working very hard to improve the commercial side of the club and it seems as if this will be the way forward – balancing the football needs with the financial and commerical benefits of pre-season tours. And the realities of modern football mean that’s not really a bad thing.

In the short-term it is crucial that Arsenal explore as many avenues as possible to increase commercial revenue. The deals struck with Nike, for the kit, and Emirates airline, for the naming rights of the stadium, were made at a time when the club was badly in need of cash for the new home.

At the time, geting much of the money up front, was quite a coup, but with increased television revenues driving shirt sponsorships and much more, Arsenal are somewhat paying the price for them now. The first of those deals runs out in 2014, which means until then the club must find other ways to make up the shortfall.

As well as increased revenue from ticket sales, merchandise and more, the tour also provides the chance for fans who would never be able to see the team to experience what many who can get to the stadium on a regular basis sometimes take for granted.

 

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Niro
Niro

Good for Arsenal. I hope we can continue our sponsorships with Nike and Emirates when the deals expire.

Bobby Pires
Bobby Pires

If there is one thing I hate about the stadium its the name, i’d way rather have Ashburton Grove or New Highbury than a silly corporate name like The Emirates.

ScotchEggsRule
ScotchEggsRule

Or course we all would love that, but how much would it cost to sit in that stadium if we didn’t have the extra money from the naming rights……

Bunburyist
Bunburyist

I’ll miss those pre-season games against FC Bad Burgerland and other seventh-division Austrian teams. Oh well.

RYAN.GAY.4.AFC
RYAN.GAY.4.AFC

hahaa FC Badburgerland always was a fixture i would look forward too in the calender!

Cromulus
Cromulus

Ah. This explains why we bought Park. I keed, I keed!

Voldermort
Voldermort

Winning something is probably the best way to raise our brand awareness. Or am I Just old fashioned.

Bunburyist
Bunburyist

No, I think you’re spot on, actually. I’ve traveled pretty extensively in Asia, and, like in many other parts of the world (surprise), the shirts being bought are those of the teams that actually win stuff, regardless of whether that team has ever stepped foot on that nation’s soil. Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan (less so these days), United, and more recently Chelsea and Man City (because they’re rich and supposed to have bought all the best players): these are the clubs selling the merchandise abroad. I can’t imagine a great clamouring for shirts or tickets to see Arsenal anywhere in the world: “Hey everybody! Look who’s coming! It’s that sixth-placed team from England! Let’s…uh…let’s stay home!”

The idea is to capitalize on success, not drum up excitement for a team whose main motto is “pursue a model of self-sustainability while trying desperately to get into the top four each season.” I mean, really, what does the club expect? That fans in Asia will buy Arsenal shirts with “Self-Sustainability” emblazoned on the back?

Comedian
Comedian

Yes agree with you shirts are brought of winning teams but thats the downpoint as well. I have such increase in number of people in my country doning barcelona t-shirts and such idiotic fools to comment on oh i love the way they play, their passing is so great BULLSHIT i say. Yes i am happy footballs growing in India but do not just fool yourself for what the media says. Ever i meet a person who calls himself a Barca fab i ask him how come where do u watch their matches? Tv? Because what i have watched of all laliga games(especially barca) i tend to get a headache, i have never seen the ball in play , it looks like they have just one camera in the whole camp nou focussing on players who dont even have the ball , i am serious u really would get an headache if you watch a barca game at campnou. Never watched the passing never. I dont know about the streams but i am sure everyone of the barca fan here watches it on tv and if they got entertained they serioulsy dont know the game.
Sorry had to get this out of me to all those posers out there.

Pascal Zidane

I like to think that the real Asian fans will love our club regardless. Glory hunters need not apply.

Cygan's Left Foot
Cygan's Left Foot

you just old fashion :P. We have to make the 15/20 million profit first then think about those old fashion titles and cups. Oh I forgot, the “Self Sustained model” will raise the awareness we need.

Young Gooner
Young Gooner

I live in Malaysia and this season, Arsenal came here and I went to stadium to watch them. EPL is the most famous league in this country and some of the most famous teams are Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool. Only recently we can see few people wearing Man City shirt (meehh they are not a fan at all, only choose to support team that is likely to win) and QPR (the owner is Malaysian).

However, I’m not sure how the tour can actually increase the shirts selling and all. All Arsenal fans are actually the existed fans and buy the kit every year. So we are not affected by the tour. Coming here or not we still support the same team. After the tour, I still can’t see any new fans or some kids wearing an Arsenal kit just because they came to Malaysia. It happens every year, when Man Utd, Chelsea and even West Ham came to Malaysia. Mentioning West Ham, nobody here wearing their shirt though.

So I agree that winning something can attract new fans around the world. I must admit that I started to love Arsenal because I was attracted by their fancy football, because of Thierry Henry, and surely because they are a winning team. Now I still love Arsenal but I’m kind of sad because of the decreasing number of new fans here. So I hope they can win something to get some new fans.

Pascal Zidane

No need to be sad, success is cyclical – no team dominates and keeps on winning forever. A lot of people don’t know that Man Utd have gone 37 years without winning a single trophy. They also got relegated, Arsenal FC has never been relegated.

Being a fan means riding the wave, the good and bad moments. That way when success comes it will be that much sweeter.

Pearson
Pearson

Everybody seeing The Arsenal shirt for the first time must love that red and white.
Let’s go retro next season with some seventies style shirts and a simple crest.

Brohan_Cruyff

Can they come to the United States next? Please?

Nick
Nick

YES!!!! I live in Atlanta, GA and I would drive from here to anywhere in the US or Canada to watch my beloved Gunners in person for the first time. Lots of other teams like Man. U, Man City, Real Madrid, etc come to the US for preseason and play either MLS teams or whoever. Please come across the pond!!!!

Brohan_Cruyff

I can’t afford to cross the Atlantic, but I would drive almost anywhere (I’m in Indiana) to see Arsenal play here.

Sabrina
Sabrina

WHY NOT AMERICA ARSENE!?

Bunburyist
Bunburyist

I would think the market in America for soccer is fairly small, and with little potential. There are far too many other sports–at both college and pro levels–that command the wallets and imagination of Americans. Still, that didn’t stop Chelsea and United in recent years, so it may be worth thinking about.

Nick
Nick

America has a much larger soccer fanbase than you’d think. We’re just waiting for more exposure to true quality like EPL, Bundesliga and La Liga teams.

If you look at the pro & college sports markets, in the summer they are pretty non-existent except for baseball (which I hate watching). College football doesn’t start till the end of August. NFL is around the same time so coming to the US in June or July is a great time!

The number of European, Asian and especially latin american immigrants to the US grows every year. They all love football and every major city has enough immigrants, people on vacation, and good old US citizens to fill a stadium. Host a game in a big stadium in a major market city like LA, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, or a number of cities in Texas (where soccer is huge).

Brohan_Cruyff

You would be incorrect, respectfully. There’s interest, and there’s a ton of people here, and a massive sports culture that changes frequently. And football is growing quickly here, especially among the younger generations. With a bit of effort the USA could be a growth area for Arsenal. Not to the extent of China, probably, but there’s something here.

Unfortunately the club have waited so long that everyone here’s a damned Chelsea fan. All joking aside there’s still room for Arsenal here as well, but it’s annoying.

Nick
Nick

@Brohan_Cruyff …. isn’t it amazing that Chelsea with their truly unwatchable style can create so many fans simply by coming here?!?

I’ve always said, if someone isn’t a soccer fan then show them an Arsenal match and they will become one. Especially if you bring the full team and they play like they did against Blackburn. I know a lot teams leave some of their squad off from the US but Real Madrid had their full strength squad last summer when they played in Washington, DC and other places.

Bunburyist
Bunburyist

Here’s the difference: Chelsea and United came to the US after they had already done Asian tours in previous years. Furthermore, their international branding was already peaking BECAUSE they were recent / current champions of the Prem. To me (and, I think, to those clubs), a US tour is a luxury rather than a priority. The Asian market in terms of football branding is much, much bigger. I can see a US tour in the future, but not until we first conquer the East (and possibly some sort of cup). There’s a reason Gazidis et al have prioritized Asia before the US, and it has to do with potential in the market. Please don’t take my comment as in any way disrespecting America or its soccer fans. In fact, I have just recently moved to the US, and hope that soccer continues to attract more fans and players.

Pearson
Pearson

You’re wrong there. America is the biggest market right now for real growth. As the USA improves (hopefully) in the men’s, women’s and age group world’s cups, it should grow further.
Thierry Henry’s antics in the last few weeks as well as Beckham’s commitment will show resulting growth in the game.
The Arsenal must go to the USA. It’s good business and it will grow the American game. I love football more than I love The Arsenal (I’m afraid to say)

SmokingGunner's Mother in Law

Lots of Asian pussyclat for the Gunnerz on tour.

Cygan's Left Foot
Cygan's Left Foot

So, that is the 15/20 million profit sorted then!!!!!!!!!!

Lets sign Hazard :)))).

Jose Ozorio

The Arsenal are finally coming to my city!
(Btw that’s the HK island skyline in the pic , yes it was in the Dark Knight)

Chavski, Man Ure, Liverpool, Fulham, Portsmouth, Blackburn, Villareal even Villa have all played here recently.
Depending on the ticket prices, it could be a sell out.

I would also encourage all gooners to visit HK for the game , the city is reknowned for its World Famous Rugby 7s tournament which is known for its debauchery, partying and 24 hour drinking.

Personally though, I couldn’t be happier =D

Rob'67
Rob'67

So they are “increasing brand awareness” at just the point when having won the Champions League they are at their most potent.

Good strategy. Only fly in the ointment is that if they haven’t won the Champions League, they will be spectating on it’s outcome next season as they won’t be in it through league position this season.

Perhaps this will make up for all the thoroughly hacked off Gooners who will tell Gazedis where he can stick his £1,500 plus, invoice come season ticket renewal time. And believe you me, there will be plenty.

The empty seats – which this site commented on last time out – tell their own story. There’ll be even more next year.

the only sam is nelson
the only sam is nelson

good. that means i can get a better seat next season and it won’t be to next to, in front of or behind a complete idiot. if we bollocks up the league completely hopefully we’ll miss out on the europa league and the ticket price will go down as well. a team shorn of both overpaid prima donna stars and self-righteous, entitled fans might just go on to do something next seasn.

FWIW I tend to think these tours are about the fees they raise (TV rights + venue payments/gate receipts) than they are about ancilliary earnings from merchandise. And let’s face it, you don’t have to be Donald Trump to have the business acumen to figure that anywhere in the world is likely to yield higher earnings than a game at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon against Einstatz-Gruppen Shnell Lager Lager FC of the Austrian 8th Division.

Brian Doheny

quite enjoyed seeing arsenal in hangzhou last year and hoping to get hold of a ticket for beijing this year. found the support in hangzhou to be amazing and you could see arsenal shirts and other products on show in many places, even saw one of the nicer shopping malls had life sized cannons etc. decorated especially for the game

Torquay Goon
Torquay Goon

Or perhaps Arsene could go on his normal alpine adventure all we have to do is take the Russians money, Stan out Fat Boy in!

GC The Gunner
GC The Gunner

With a fan base that surpasses that of any other team in world football, The proposed visit to Nigeria will both be an eye opener and a huge commercial success for Arsenal.
It’s bound to be full of Positives for the team, a breather sort of and a very big departure from their regular pre-season ritual, they should be ready to see how well loved and respected they are by fans and supporters on this side of the world too. Nigeria awaits you! Come on Arsenal!

Eddy
Eddy

Wouldn’t mind arsenal coming to Australia sometime soon, we never get anyone from epl here

badaab
badaab

Yet still no trips planned to the states… Odd, considering kroenke owns a football club, its stadium, and the very same club have a business relationship with arsenal. I suppose I’ll have to settle for seeing the players when they come to major league soccer. However, both Henry and ljungberg were very pleasant and graciously signed autographs, and also seemed happy to see gooners in Colorado.

Tristan
Tristan

COME TO NAIROBI KENYA!!!!!!!

I’m happy Arsenal are finally coming to Africa, but I would prefer it if they came to Kenya instead of Nigeria (as I live in Kenya lol). Come on Mr. Wenger, there are lots of Arsenal fans here in Kenya!!!

heihaci
heihaci

so is this the reason why we signed Park?

The invincible arse

No, sir

ScotchEggsRule
ScotchEggsRule

Well it never stopped Barca/Madrid/Utd winning trophies.

1steved1
1steved1

To me the stadium is the Grove, so what if it’s official name is the Emirates, I bet they pay us a fortune when it’s renewed it could be worse do you reckon Newcastle fans go around saying I’m off to the SportsDirect.comArena this Saturday.

Sam
Sam

Woohoo! I live and work in Beijing now and I cannot wait to see the Gooners. One of the worst things about living out here is not being able to go to games… although 3pm games are at 10/11pm, which is nice while preparing for an evening lash 😉