Tag Archives: Manchester United FC

Arsenal commercial partners up to 15 in 2013

For a long time, Manchester United have been held up as the best example of a club bringing in revenue from commercial deals. The club has 34 (at last count) deals with companies which generated £153m for the 12 months leading to June 2013. That was 43% of their total revenue, higher than their television and match-day earnings, which are worth £102m and £109m respectively.

Arsenal have always lacked not only Manchester United, but the rest of Europe when it comes to commercial deals. As our good friend LordHillWood blogged, the Arsenal board ‘dropped the ball‘ when it has come to commercial deals over the last 10 years, as they focused firstly on financing the stadium, and then paying it off. LordHillWood estimates the club has lost:

“20 million for the first half of those 8 years and 35 million for the second half, with 45 in the last year means Arsenal’s boards indifference and possible ignorance through their outdated culture cost the club a fortune.”

A conservative estimate that the club has thrown away £230million in potential commercial deals.

There is however, a bright light at the end of the tunnel. In August 2009, Arsenal hired Tom Fox as Chief Commercial Officer, he had previously work for PepsiCo and Nike as SVP Sports Marketing and Director Asia Pacific/US Sports Marketing respectively.

Whilst he had little effect in his 1st few years – it is unclear whether this was due to him having a different remit, or just not able to win a deal – over 2013, there has been a lot to shout about.

We all know about the new deals with the Emirates (renewed in 2012) and the new Puma kit deal (agreed in 2013 for £30m a year) but since Tom Fox has been with the club, we have seen us sign 13 deals in a 2 year period. Of which 9 are in 2013. Here is a full list of Arsenal’s Commercial Partners:

  • Emirates – 2004 (Renewed 2012)
  • Indest – 2011
  • Carlsberg – 2011
  • Citroen – 2011
  • Airtel – 2012
  • Puma – 2013
  • Gatorade – 2013
  • Bodog – 2013
  • BT Sport – 2013
  • Imperial Bank – 2013
  • India on Track – 2013
  • MBNA – 2013
  • Paddy Power – 2013
  • Sterling Bank – 2013
  • Telkomsel – 2013

The value of these deals is not known. There tend to be 3 types of commercial deals set up by the club:

  1. Sponsorship: A company (eg Emirates or Citroen) paying to have its name on something
  2. Commission: A company (eg Banks or bookmakers) agreeing to ‘brand’ an item, such as a credit card to increase that items popularity, with the club receiving a commission on all sales
  3. Provider: A company (eg Drinks providers or network providers) agreeing to provide a service which benefits Arsenal, such as providing the players energy drinks, or being the preferred beer supplier, where Arsenal get something out of it, but also get a bit of commission on sales

It is likely some are for very little money, but more the provision of services, such as the Gatorade one (rumours are we get around £250,000 flat fee, a percentage of sales and do not pay for the players drinks). We will only know the true value of the entire package once the accounts for 2013/14 come out which should show a huge increase in commercial activity.

With 10 deals in 2013 (including the Puma one) hopefully Tom Fox and his team can replicate this in 2014 and we can see the commercial gap closing between Arsenal and Manchester United. A sponsorship deal for the training ground and training kit is one place where Manchester United received £15m a year which we have currently not tapped. Although there might be clauses in the Puma contract which includes them sponsoring the training kit.

The only question left to ask is where this extra commercial deal will go? Will it halt the rise in ticket prices? Probably not. The fact we have a 3% rise for next season despite TV revenue dramatically increasing means that new commercial money is unlikely to see a freeze, let a lone a reduction, in ticket prices. It is more than likely new monies will go towards closing the £60m wage gap between Arsenal and Manchester City. Buy better players, and making the rich young men at the club rich.

But without fans where would the club be ? and where will it end ? £100+ for a lower tier ticket….



True extent of Arsenal’s awful record at Old Trafford revealed

During the game against Manchester United, at 1-0 down, I got thinking, ‘when was the last time we came from behind at Old Trafford to get a draw or win’? Having had the day off work today (to sober up after getting back into London gone midnight), I decided to research it.

Despite a few hours on Google, looking through some of the many Arsenal books I have, I was unable to find this. What I did discover, however, was just how bad our record at Old Trafford has been over the last 2 decades;


Fours wins in 20 years at Old Trafford in all competitions. 4 wins in 28 games. 3 in the Premier League, 1 in the FA Cup.

Overall, Arsenal’s record away to Manchester United (Including Woolwich Arsenal, Newton Heath and the Bank Street Ground) is: P 100, W 16, D 25, L 59, F 83, A 187. Not a great record hey! And it brings something else onto the table. Even when Manchester United were not very good, they often had Arsenal’s number in Manchester. They average 1.87 per game in Manchester, Arsenal average 0.83.

So perhaps it was a bit hopeful us going to Manchester hoping – even expecting – a victory. History shows that is rarely the case. And averaging under a goal a game in Manchester, well it means when we go 1-0 down, it is unlikely we will come back to grab a draw, let alone a win. It might be defeatist, however history allows us to predict the future, and history shows that Arsenal coming from behind to get something from Manchester United in Manchester rarely happens.

To answer my original question, of when we last came from behind to win or draw at Old Trafford, I enlisted the help of @Gooner_AK at our friends over at The Arsenal History Blog.

The last time we came from behind to draw or win in Manchester? 5 November 1977.

Manchester United took the lead through Gordon Hill on 60 minutes, with Arsenal hitting back through Malcolm Macdonald (66) and Frank Stapleton (83). 37 years ago.


Arsenal most followed Premier League club – Full stats revealed

At the weekend, Arsenal passed 3,000,000 followers on Twitter, making them the first Premier League club to pass through the milestone. This surprised me when I see Mesut Ozil has over 4,000,000 and Justin Bieber has 46,000,000. I thought I would explore how many followers the rest of the Premier League have;

Premier League – 3,014,009
Arsenal – 3,005,680
Chelsea – 2,970,819
Liverpool – 2,086,130
Manchester United – 1,296,966*
Manchester City – 1,275,000*
Tottenham – 689,142
Newcastle – 304,220
Everton – 267,676
West Ham United – 228,383
Aston Villa – 221,244
Fulham – 177,848
Sunderland – 176,191
Swansea City – 171,814
Southampton – 156,853
Norwich City – 155,216
Stoke City – 148,038
West Browmich Albion – 104,770
Cardiff City – 79,997
Crystal Palace – 67,720
Hull City – 59,577

Now a lot can be made from the above data. You could argue that it is a cross-section of society and therefore indicates the level of support of each club throughout the world. But it would be ludicrous to claim that Manchester United have less supporters throughout the world than those above them – their amount of followers was surprisingly low.

What it does show is, Manchester United apart – Arsenal still have a strong world-wide supporters base, still above the nouveau clubs Chelsea and Manchester City. Although Chelsea have shown the amount of fans you can gain through success. Are they now supported more throughout the world than Liverpool? Perhaps.

What is certainly shows is Arsenal’s online presence. For a long time, it has been a belief of mine that Arsenal have the strongest online presence in the UK. We have the most and best blogs & podcasts. We eat up social media. It is why media outlets write so much about us, as they know writing about Arsenal will get more online hits then any other club.

And how does Europe compare?

Barcelona (English) – 10,438,412
Real Madrid (Spanish) – 9,318,902
Barcelona (Spanish) – 5,604,562
Barcelona (Catalan) – 3,898,654
Galatasaray – 3,238,592
Arsenal – 3,005,680
Chelsea – 2,970,819
Real Madrid (English) – 2,734,033
Fenerbache – 2,490,906
Liverpool – 2,086,130
AC Milan – 1,560,114
Manchester United – 1,296,966
Paris Saint-Germain – 900,593
Juventus – 836,397
Olympique Marseille – 774,761
Bayern Munich – 714,642
Borussia Dortmund – 611,246
Atletico de Madrid – 518,833
Inter Milan – 403,667
Valencia – 322,284
Ajax – 277,414
Celtic – 189,556
Olympique Lyonnais – 187,281
FC Porto – 134,317
Benfica – 132,109

A few things jump out. Firstly the popularity of Barcelona & Real Madrid. This clearly shows them as the two biggest clubs in the world. But also shows a fascination with both clubs outside of Spain. The fact that Barcelona’s English account is has the most followers shows the fascination with them outside of Spain, and in the UK itself. Real Madrid’s English account also being high shows the unhealthy fascination with Spanish football and El Classico within the UK.

The second thing was how high Galatasaray and Fenerbache were. this perhaps shows why the ‘Arab Spring’ spread so fast throughout Social Media such as Twitter and Facebook. Twitters popularity in the ‘middle east’ and surrounding area is interesting – and not really for a football blog – but the popularity in Turkey is likely to also be the reason why Mesut Ozil has 3,000,000 followers.

Lastly is the lack of followers both German clubs and other Central European sides have. Which shows more how little Twitter has taken off in Central Europe.

A lot of opinions can be made about Twitter, including size of football following, Twitter throughout the world, and popularity of social media throughout the world. Or you can just say this was boring and pointless.

Either way, I found it interesting


*Manchester United also have an Official Indonesian account (93,747), Spanish (31,891) & Malaysian (9,551)
*Manchester City have an additional 9 foreign language accounts totaling 33,202
*All at time of writing, Noon on Sunday 3rd November