Friday, December 8, 2023

Arsenal sign new banking sponsor

Arsenal have added to their lengthening list of regional partners by announcing a sponsorship agreement with Imperial Bank which will see co-branded debit cards made available in Kenya and Uganda.

The three year-agreement follows similarly packaged deals with Malta Guinness and Airtel; both of which also use Arsenal to promote their products across Africa.

While it is looking increasingly unlikely that Arsene Wenger’s squad will travel to Africa this summer for a friendly, despite an attempt to arrange a match in Abuja, Nigeria last year, the club have obviously pinpointed the region as a real growth market for the Arsenal brand.

Speaking about the latest deal, Vinai Venkatesham, head of global partnerships at Arsenal said:

“We are delighted to be partnering with Imperial Bank to provide Arsenal branded debit cards to our millions of fans across Kenya and Uganda.

“Imperial Bank is a well known and trusted institution that puts its customers, communities and social responsibility at the heart of everything it does. We look forward to a long and successful partnership with Imperial Bank.”

Last month, as part of the build-up to July’s pre-season tour of the Far East, Arsenal also put in place a deal with Indonesian phone operator Telkomsel.

It’s obvious that for most Emirates regulars such partnerships will mean very little, but with the core aim long-term expansion of the fanbase and a subsequent increase in revenue they make solid sense from a business point of view. At least that’s what the email from that friendly man in the Nairobi branch said…

Having turned Arsenal into the Bank of England club in the 1930s you can’t help but wonder what Herbert Chapman would make of this brave new world…you’d at least hope he wouldn’t spend hours moaning on talkSH*TE.

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It’s clear that the Commercial team is targeting Africa and Asia in a big way. Very clever as both continents are growing incredibly fast and are fanatical in their support of the Arsenal.


Yeah, Asia and Africa are big markets just waiting to be tapped in, but I do have to wonder why we’re ignoring the Americas. Surely we should make *some* effort there too? Utd go there every year or something, and Stan owns a host of US sports teams.

Bould's Eyeliner

Because we spend boats of money already on what is existing. It’d be nice though…

Gunner From Another Mother

Being American I would absolutely kill for an Arsenal tour of the states. (Or even 1 game in the country, I’d have a plane ticket ASAP). Sure it wouldn’t compare to a competitive match at the Emirates, but I’d love to watch us play in person…one can dream…


Definitely. Being an American and also having played for a club here that is associated w/ Arsenal, there is plenty of potential. Good point too about other parts of the Americas. Realistically, the African/Asian markets have greater potential, larger populations and less sports to compete with as well. GFAM says it all, one can wish.

Amen. Amen. Amen.


Let me give you glimpse of how big arsenal is in those two mentioned places. Personally I’m born and raised in Uganda and it doesn’t matter if Madrid and Barcelona are playing if you want to make money at your establishment be it a bar or kibanda (semi permanent structure that shows movies and football matches) you had better show the arsenal game no one will

Parisian Weetabix

I once went to Uganda volunteering and we drove around on the back of a big blue truck. Every day we went past these tiny rundown houses absolutely covered in spray-paint, with cannons drawn on, ‘Come on you Gooners” and pictures of the Arsenal crest. Sadly I doubt the person who owns that house will ever get the chance to see them play, but it just shows how much these people care.

the only sam is nelson

As Kenny Dalgleish so wisely pointed out shortly before he was sacked, these commercial deals are like winning a trophy

at least AW hasn’t had the gall to try that one out for size. yet. fingers crossed he won’t have to, because he’ll be ramming the 2014 league title up RVP’s arse whilst beating Jose Mourhino about the head with the FA Cup and laughing his head off at how Stevie Bould has just used the League Cup to pour cold sick all over Darren Dein.

Teri maa dhi

Post of the day!!!!


Post of the season!

Johnny Jensen's Bender

Beautifully put Sammy


The more money, the better.

Telepathic pass

Funny, i’d imagine that’s what the board says too, then does fuck all with it ofcourse.

Merde Bag

i dont disagree with the comment ‘the more money the better’, as by and large the richest teams are the most competitive,

but isnt it a sad state of affairs that a tie in with an african bank who will provide arsenal themed credit cards to extract interest payments from their customers seems to be the way forward?

Bould's Eyeliner

But think of how proud they will to have our shield on their cards. Every purchase, they can think, “oh goody, 5 cents to Walcott’s paycheck!”


i believe theyr going to be debit cards, slightly different a they reduce the chances of getting into financial difficulty in comparison to the standard credit card, if this makes it any better?

i like that were going to profit from this in general, any ball park figures of these profits and time scales attached to them?

walter the goon

‘THERE ARE NO SUPERSTARS AT ARSENAL’. this is an award winning statement. thank you Usmanov for pointing that out .mediocre players at their best


This is award-winning reading comprehension. Congratulations!

Telepathic pass

I kinda endorse that. Meaning The Uzbeki fat arse won’t hesitate to bring in superstars were he to be offered a better position at the club. Kroenke has not exactly won any of us over you know!, quite clear arsenals philosophy does not bode well with sugar daddy funding but i’d welcome afew superstars myself. We could with some goddamit.


Are you Alisher? Are you Alisher? Are you Alisher in disguise?

A N Other

They should seriously target India. It is emerging market and all arsenal matches shown live so we have few followers there already.


A few? I’d say after Manchester United, Arsenal have the largest following. Even though India isn’t a prime football market, the sheer weight of numbers should make this an important destination for Arsenal. To be fair, they do have a grassroots level tie up with Tata. But more can be done. I’m sure we are looking at it. In their winter break, Bayern Munich, due to Audi, came to play in India despite the lack of proper infrastructure here. They’ve sent their youth teams to play invitational tournaments here in the past. They are active and with their profile growing,… Read more »

A N Other

Yes it is difficult to assess the total numbers but I am sure if we can get a small proportion than that still will be bigger than population of most countries.

I loved the fact that watching live football matches was so was 75 pence per month in Delhi and absolutely free in Punjab. HD quality was about a £1 more per month.

chamakh's barber

I agree ,airtel is the Indian sponsor for man u, and the recent talent search program funded by them had decent media following.


It would be a dream come true to see the Gunners in India.


BOI {bank of india} how it found it’s way into my country I will never know!


Maybe it’s just getting used to it, but I feel good about our finish this year (assuming we glide through the next 3). I feel more confidence in this group of players than I have in a long time. Considering the flux over the summer our newest players have all done well statistically speaking. The signing of a few others may come this summer, but I’m not nervous enough to beg for multiple signings as I have been at the end of the last few seasons.

glory hunter

I think you’ve just lowered your expectation!!


As long as we don’t have big names transferring out I’m confident next year will be a massive improvement.


Have to agree with this. I really believe this summer we are poised to hold onto all vital cogs to our team and actually build. Every summer in the past has had stadium debt implications that basically meant we couldn’t keep our best players. This not only makes it difficult because we need to find players to fill the void left by our best players, but also because it tends to take 1/2 – 1 full season for new players to bed into the team and the PL. This is why i think we tend to look so much better… Read more »


Ideal scenario is, we keep hold of what we’ve got/ need and want, shuffle the rest along and bring in what we want/need and must have to challenge again. Nothing novel there, it’s just the first time in a long time that I feel that its likely to actually happen!


Funny, because we have done better in those “last few seasons”, of course mostly due to Cesc Fabregas. We used to compete for the league, now we are 5-6 players short of that, with 2-3 world class players – I can’t understand why we compromised quality for quantity, especially because Wenger loved to point out his preference for quality, but we did, instead of spending 30m on one single player to replace a departing big name, we signed Gervinhos and Girouds, which is obviously more quantity, than quality.


Now that’s akward


Every penny counts. Hopefully we can qualify for the CL and get a big kit maker deal with Adidas. Arsenal will finally be free to spend a good amount of money this summer.


You have to love a bank who chooses to affiliate its credit card brand with a team that is renown for its lack of spending money.

Telepathic pass

Now wheres kenyan goon? Bet he’s on his ampteenth beer by now.


Now if only the club organised a tour of some sort….


Been an arsenal fan for fifteen years now… About time arsenal and Kenya are mentioned in the same sentence.

Telepathic pass

Now im sure there has been.
Kenya readies it’s arsenal for war..e.t.c? Nothing? Oh okay


Very interesting that three of the four regional deals Arsenal have now are in Africa, the club seems to be targeting an area that very few other clubs have (Utd [of course] and Sunderland being the exceptions). Good business strategy. Hopefully many, many more sponsorship’s to come.


Now we wait for the first cynic to come up with the “Wenger is hiding the transfer money in an offshore account rather than spending it” dig..


we must add to this squad in the summer,


As long as these funds are put to good use in signing some top quality to bridge the gap between the mega-spender-clubs.


I love the arsenal!! Kenya and uganda stand up, the club is finally taking notice, feels proud to be acknowledged in such a manner. Even though at the end of the day its all just business….


standing up with hands in the air screaming ‘me first’


stop eating each other


That’s inappropriate and racist. But i’m guessin you already know that.


Being in kenya,am very impressed by that deal…hope i will also benèfit as a fan


That’s Gazidis’ year end bonus sorted then.


If you ever wanted an Arsenal market in Africa, come to Uganda/Kenya. If the club can maximise on their popularity, the better. It’s the most popular club in this region, even with these barren 8 years. What would it cost to send a few first teamers ( probably injured ones) off season and make a few sales? Last time Nigeria came to lose to Uganda, you should have seen how popular Kanu was, years after leaving the club. Oh, Lauren was here last week too, i think promoting this deal. I only saw it on the news and got pissed… Read more »


“you should have seen how popular Kanu was”

Always liked Kanu. Favourite moment was watching God’s testimonial on TV: SPANK! GOAL! Commentators:
“Kanu won’t be popular with the Arsenal fans for that, Bergkamp was in space and Kanu could have set him up for one there.”
“Oh, I think he will…….the replay shows it went in off Jaap Stam…..”

I was crippled with laughter for about five minutes.

Arsenic FC

Good grief. What the f**k has happened to football.

Merlin's Panini



Just to note a few years ago a Kenyan fan committed suicide after Arsenal lost to Manure. Arsenal is taken seriously globally and if they come with a tie up that matches my beloved Arsenal in South Africa, I won’t mind.It might be from my couch but I watch over 40 Arsenal game every season, haven’t missed a league game for the past 2 years. Bring the brand closer, make more money and pay a Jovetic at least.

South African_Gooner

Same here.. Watched every single game for the last 3 years.. from a couch.. Teams like liverpool united and spuds coming to south africa.. Makes my mouth only water for a chance just to see the players i support.. Just to watch those guys in the flesh.. Those same men that bring so mych emotion to my life.. COYG Come to South Africa

i want to boff giroud and im not even gay

Maybe I’m just cynical but does this African marketing strategy explain why we end up with crap like gervinho?


Gervinho was bought from france you fuckin dimwit

You obviously want to boff giroud so much it’s messing up your reasoning.


or greats like Kanu and Toure? (and Eboue)

Teri maa dhi

Show me the monies!!!

It would be inspiring if we could strike a deal with a company/ organisation e.g. that tackles some serious human rights issues or something similar – I know we do a lot of charity work anyway but this would be cool and it’s something I foresee because we are classy like that!!!


This is great and all but how much is this deal worth per year?


For Starters there is no real Passion for Foot Ball as there is for other “sports”. And they call it “Soccer” something about that word makes my face go like this :, and considering Soccer [unlike American Foot ball] is played by foot 97% of the time it’s only fair that we all call it ” Foot ball.

Hell you know what we should call their Sport “American Rugby”.


*Looks left* *Looks right* …exactly who are you talking to about this tired, boring topic?

Gooner lad

I would give anything to see Cesc Fabregas return in the summer… Does anyone think its possible?

Dial Square

No!! It’s just paper talk bollocks, look at the Barcelona side, they need to evolve and bring new players through, and it’s his “home” club so why would he come back? As great as it would be – unless he want’s to play for a bigger club of course!!!

Gooner lad

Imagine a midfield of Cesc, jack, and cazorla with hardworking Rambo as a foil and the class of arteta and rosicky on the bench… We’d have around 98% possession every game!… That is what you call a midfield. It’s amazing and sickening to think if we’d just kept Cesc and Rvp we’d be the beat team in Europe


Probably won’t happen but it is definitely possible.

f they sell him, then it will be to us. We have a deal in-place where we get first refusal. Not sure if Barcelona would want to sell him, but he doesn’t look that happy at Barca now that Pep has gone to be honest.

Raymond Aaron James

This season is gone bt arsenal need to prepared for next season campaign for trophies, arsenal is loosing his quality, felt so angry when i saw rvp scoring goal for man utd and win d league what a shame for arsenal fans

Dial Square

I’m always getting emails from Kenya and Uganda asking me for my bank details!!

Arty's Art

I hate when ‘Arsenal’ news is actually about money, and money men.

I hate it.

Football. Please.

A N Other

Yes that’s true to some extent but we wouldn’t function as a proper club if not for proper investment.


Dear Commercial Manager

My late husband owned The Imperial Bank and all I need is your sort code and account number to transfer $1,0000,0000 into your Bank…..


If we don’t start winning now, if we don’t invest in the squad, then we can kiss goodbye to commercial contracts.


Barcelona so overrared they always get decisions and contraversy every time they win the champions league thats why i hate them nothing to do with them winning.

I love Bayern cause they have got to this final purely on football ability alone they dont need decisions to go their way their just that good.

Come on Fabregas forget Barcelona come back to Arsenal 😛

Eric Irish gunner

Dont feel that bad about going out to bayern on away goals rule now after what they did to barca


Agreed we did very well against them almost knocked them out 😛 but dont expect the English media to point that out 😉

gooner from India

Football is emerging big in India and finally I am happy to see people turning away from boring cricket. But the worrying fact is when they initially start watching any sport they become fan of a winning team. I have seen a lot of people becoming fans of manure and even shitty also. Chelsea also have fans here and more than arsenal among younger generation, thanks to the morinho era. Have seen so many new football fans following city and manure and no new fan is supporting arsenal these days, thanks to our 8 trophyless years…. Arsenal have to win… Read more »


Fifa XI all spanish?, blatter can suck a dick. Really enjoy a once in a while barca mauling. Cunts!

Arsene Wenger

Good job Bayern.

Strange that Bayern rescued Dortmund from economic collapse just five years ago with a generous loan. I bet they didn’t think they’d be facing them in the Champions’ League Final just a few years down the road.

Now, come on Dortmund.


Heh …Barcas slowly morphing into Arsenals style of play.
Song…dear me. Cesc…har har

Sweinsteger and Javi martinez are an awesome duo.


Fantastic idea . I think Arsenal should invest all our money into Nigerian Banks. Just the other day a Nigerian bank official notified me I had an unknown relation who died who left me ten Billion pound. All I had to do was send ten grand to tie up the change of ownership and it was all mine. Good one Blogs he he he.

a fan from india

The indian followig for arsenal has significantly reduced, since Chavski won the CL last season, and ManC won the Pl last season. Many football fans converted to fans of these two very clubs. In India the number of trophies matter, and not the fact that arsenal are a gentleman’s club, and are a delight to watch. Howevr, if arsenal do come to India, there will be a huge crowd at the stadium, since we can only see class teams play on TV, and not live on the football pith.

A fan from Thailand

I live in Thailand. Virtually everyone here seems to be a United fan, with Liverpool probably a distant second (basing this only on casual observation). I agree with the above posters who have said Arsenal really need to start winning things again in order to increase their fan base in this part of the world. I think a lot of people here just enjoy jumping onto a winning bandwagon, which explains the massive increase recently in people walking around wearing Man City shirts.

A fan from Thailand

The above wasn’t meant to imply that I’m not supportive of Arsenal going after these sponsorship deals. By all means, the more cash the merrier.


Not just Thailand – a lot of people like to jump onto a winning bandwagon anywhere in my opinion. Arsenal has a strong fan base in Thailand. But indeed Man Utd has most followers, then Liverpool (from the glory days in the 80’s), then Arsenal. As a fan, once you choose the side, you stick to it. This is pretty much the case to an average Thai fan even though the team is not doing so well.


At the end of the day, the most effective way to expand your reach and merchandising, is to win trophies, which is why we are behind both Chelsea and FAR behind Utd in terms of revenue

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