Rwanda is Receiving Criticism for their Recent Partnership with Arsenal - Trak | Partnership Activation Software

Rwanda is Receiving Criticism for their Recent Partnership with Arsenal
Posted On: May 29, 2018

One of last week's blog posts covered a unique new sponsorship, but now some people feel it isn't a good thing.

Every sponsorship has the potential for criticism, especially in the case of "sin" companies like alcohol or tobacco brands sponsoring teams. However, the criticism is rarely pointed toward an entire country for one of their marketing efforts. It is even more rare than a country choosing to sponsor a sports team from a different continent in the first place.

So this blog post is a tad different from our usual due to the recent events, but it will provide the same entertainment and usefulness as usual. 

Rwanda is a rather poor country and receives aid from several other countries as a result. One of those who give aid is the Netherlands and they are not happy with Rwanda choosing to spend their money on a sports sponsorship. They feel the money could be put to better use and the Dutch's criticism has made news and forced Rwanda to respond.

The Rwanda Development Board who is responsible for making decisions such as this sleeve sponsorship said that this partnership is a marketing effort. Moreover, they said this deal will have a direct impact on their tourism which is their biggest industry. 

While the Netherlands has publicly condemned this deal, most locals in Rwanda support the move and are huge Arsenal fans. This goes to show that you cannot please everyone, but it also raises questions over the worthiness of sponsorships. 

Time will tell us if this partnership increases tourism in Rwanda enough to cover the costs. No matter what though, Rwanda is receiving more publicity from this deal than they probably ever imagined, and that's a positive thing.

Trak's Take

1. This sponsorship is on a much larger scale than the average, but it works the same way as any other. 

2. Just like there are critics of this sponsorship, the same argument can be made for any partnership because it involves a company spending money for something that is hard to measure the ROI. 

3. Going back to one of the many cliches of business, you have to spend money to make money. In this case, people are not simply going to come to Rwanda if they do not see advertisements or sponsors for it. 

4. Things like this only help Rwanda because the word is getting out and it will become more of a focus.


Written by: James Campbell

James Campbell is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan with his B.A. in Sport Management. Throughout his time at Michigan, he has worked with Detroit City FC, MiLife Sport & Social Club, and USA Hockey.  - @Jimmy10Campbell