The long-time jersey sponsor of Arsenal just announced a five-year extension, but there are important implications.
The beauty of sponsorship is that it exists worldwide. Different countries have different opportunities for sponsorship, but it is relatively consistent throughout the globe. Speaking of global outreach, soccer is the world's most popular sport and the English Premier League is one of the most followed leagues.
It was recently announced that one of the biggest teams in the EPL, Arsenal, has reached an extension with their jersey sponsor, Emirates. While this is not a new deal, it is still noteworthy and interesting.
Emirates has been the jersey sponsor for the Gunners from London since 2006, so the new extension will guarantee they are the jersey sponsor for at least 18 years. The longest jersey deals have maxed out at 18 years, but there is no reason to believe why there will not be another extension in the near future.
The airline also has the naming rights to Arsenal's stadium until 2028, even more reason to continue the jersey deal. This new extension will also now include pre-season tours where Arsenal players will use Emirates planes.
1.) Arsenal has one of the biggest fan bases world wide and this partnership reaches several million people from across the globe.
2.) Congruence is king in sponsorship and one of the best ways to achieve this is through time. It has gotten to the point where Emirates and Arsenal are associated together and it is weird to see them apart.
3.) The KPI's in this deal are easily visible since the main part of the agreement is the jersey advertisement and naming rights to the stadium. Those signage opportunities are the most valuable kind in sports.
4.) The biggest risk is putting your brand on a team's jersey or stadium is the fluctuation in team performance. If the team is not playing well, then it can also get associated to you. However, Emirates is working with a consistently top half EPL team.
5.) Jersey sponsorships in the U.S. are growing and some leagues are already allowing it. Think about how you could activate your brand on a team's jersey and what you would look for in the perfect team to partner with.
Ivan Gazidis: Arsenal Chief Executive
"Our shirt partnership is the longest running in the Premier League and one of the longest relationships in world sport."
Written by: James Campbell
James Campbell is currently in his Senior year at the University of Michigan. In May of 2018, he will receive his BA degree in Sport Management. Throughout his time at Michigan, he has worked with Detroit City FC, MiLife Sport & Social Club, and USA Hockey. - @Jimmy10Campbell