Arsenal and Emirates have confirmed an extension of their long-running partnership which includes stadium naming rights and shirt and kit sponsorship of the men’s, women’s and academy sides.
The Dubai-based airline’s brand will continue to feature on the front of club kits and training kits until 2028 – a 4-year extension on the current deal – while our home ground continues to be known as Emirates Stadium also until 2028, as part of an agreement signed in 2012.
The Gunners first signed a sponsorship deal with Emirates in 2004 in advance of the move from Highbury and the airline became shirt sponsors two years later when we moved into our new home. The relationship is the longest-running of its kind in the Premier League.
While the club hasn’t gone into the details of the financials, we can assume the deal is a sizable increase on that signed in 2018. The current agreement is thought to net the club £40 million a year.
Speaking about the extension Chief Commercial Officer, Juliet Slot, said: “We are incredibly proud to make history by extending our partnership with Emirates until 2028. The longevity of our special relationship is a sign of our enduring shared values, our ambition to bring our global communities together, and our commitment to building on the numerous achievements that have marked our 17-year journey to date.
“As we take our partnership to a minimum of 22 years together, we’re excited to move forward and we’re focused on celebrating more incredible moments with our supporters around the world.”
Understandably, the decision to extend the deal will come under the microscope. Some will question the wisdom of continuing to partner with an international airline given the damage being wrought by carbon emissions on our climate. Others will point to the dubious human rights record of the United Arab Emirates,
who funds the company, and the fact consensual same-sex relations between adults are illegal in the country.
#ad Woven Together 🧵
For 17 years Arsenal and @Emirates have been woven together as one 🪡
With great pride and excitement, we’ve extended the longest running front-of-shirt partnership in the Premier League until 2028 ✈️
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 2, 2023
These are all issues that will have been tossed around the club at some point but as was the case with some of our other partnerships, money talks. The club wants long-term financial security and this deal gives them a shot at balancing the books while spending cash trying to compete with clubs being directly funded by nation-states and those who’ve had consistent success on the pitch in the last 5-10 years.
In January, Deloitte estimated Arsenal’s commercial revenue for 2022 to be around €167 million (approximately 38% of the total €434 million). That was some distance behind our ‘Big Six’ rivals Sp*rs (€215m), Chelsea (€209m), Manchester United (€309m), Liverpool (€275m), Manchester City (€373m).
The new adidas deal, an extension until 2030, plus a return to the Champions League, could see the gap close in the next couple of years, but we certainly can’t rest on our laurels.
In the coming days and weeks, we’re expecting the club to confirm several more second-tier commercial deals.