KitStory: Rwanda Unveils Three-Year Partnership with Arsenal FC
The Rwanda Development Board has become Arsenal’s first official sleeve and tourism partner as part of the country’s drive to become a leading global tourist destination.
The three-year partnership will see the new “Visit Rwanda” logo featured on the left sleeve of all first team.
The landlocked African country of Rwanda has also unveiled its new brand identity and logo as part of their wide strategy designed to attract more tourists and more business investment.
The new identity is inspired by its natural beauty: landscapes, volcanoes and most importantly Rwandan traditional art, Imigongo.
*Imigongo art on display at the International Geography Festival, France
This deal will highlight Rwanda’s tourism offerings such as the National Parks and its growing numbers of wildlife like rhinos, lions, zebras and the famous mountain gorillas. The country is well-known for its gorilla population of 480 creatures, for which people travel from all over the world to see.
Rwanda chose to partner with Arsenal in promoting tourism because the Premier League club offers a “unique opportunity”, according to Sunny Ntayombya, the Head of Communications and Marketing at RDB.
“This unique opportunity came about from Arsenal and Rwanda’s marketing team. We were given a unique opportunity to promote Rwanda on the world stage via a partnership with this world-renowned football club. We believe that, through this partnership, we can showcase Rwanda and its benefits to potential tourists and business investors around the world.”, he noted in an interview with the New York Times.
Arsenal’s Chief Commercial Officer, Vinai Venkatesham, said: “The country has been transformed in recent years and Arsenal’s huge following will bring Rwanda into people’s minds in a new and dynamic way. The Arsenal shirt is seen 35 million times a day around the world and we are one of the most viewed teams around the world. We look forward to working with the Visit Rwanda team to further establish the country as a tourist destination.”
It also appears the investment stems from the country’s president, Paul Kagame, who describes himself as a “committed fan” of the club.
The deal was reported to have cost £30 million ($40 million), to which CEO of the Rwanda Development Board said: “The media has been speculating around £30 million but what I can tell you it’s not £30 million, it’s less than that. While we cannot disclose the amount, the partnership cost is part of our marketing budget to promote Rwanda and attract investors and tourists. We expect the partnership to deliver far more long-term in terms of investment and tourism than the actual cost of the partnership,”.
Rwanda, fresh from its deal with Arsenal, announced surge in UK visitors.
The number of British travellers visiting the central African country has grown by more than 20 per cent in just 12 months.
Visit Rwanda said in a press release that British visitors grew 21 per cent in 2017 to “over 16,000”, of a total 1.2 million tourist arrivals.