The Rwanda Development Board, through its subsidiary, the Rwandan Convention Bureau, has announced a partnership with English football giant Arsenal as their first official sleeve partner.
This sponsorship deal from Rwanda comes at a time when the country’s drive is to become a leading global tourist destination.
The three-year deal with the English Premier League club will also be the club’s first ever tourism sponsorship, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) revealed in a statement.
The “Visit Rwanda” logo will be emblazoned on the left sleeve on all first team, Under-23 and Arsenal Women’s shirts from the beginning of the new season this summer.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Arsenal and showcasing the vibrancy and beauty of our country,” said Clare Akamanzi, CEO of RDB.
Rwanda is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa with a booming tourism sector that has seen the number of visitors double in the last decade. The country’s National Parks are attracting a record number of tourists due to growing numbers of wildlife including black Rhinos, lions, zebra, chimpanzees and the famous mountain gorillas. Rwanda is also attracting new hotels and lodges across the country, making it easier to experience longer, unique and memorable vacations.
Last year 1.3 million people visited Rwanda, the RDB reports, and tourism is the country’s largest foreign exchange earner. Rwanda will hope to attract visitors by being visible on one of world football’s most popular clubs. Earlier this year the IMF stated that Rwanda is the third fastest growing economy in Africa, although human rights groups report restricted freedom of speech.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s Chief Commercial Officer Vinai Venkatesham in a statement on the club’s website has said that “the Arsenal shirt is seen 35 million times a day around the world.” They haven’t disclosed the financial details.
Arsenal is the sixth largest football club in the world, according to Deloitte. Manchester United have the top spot, followed by Real Madrid.