India Inc India Inc: Friday, 29 June 2012 12:31

Bharti Airtel inks pact with Arsenal for Africa

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airtelIndia’s leading mobile phone company Bharti Airtel has signed a three-year partnership agreement with English football club Arsenal.

As part of the deal, Airtel will utilise the club's merchandising, hospitality and content rights in five African countries of Nigeria, Zambia, Ghana, Uganda and Rwanda.

“Football fans across Africa are known for their passion of the great game. Arsenal's exciting style of play and a history of working with the best talent from Africa will enrich this partnership and offer a wealth of opportunities for upcoming players and fans,” Airtel Africa chief marketing officer Andre Beyers said in a statement.

The partnership will allow Airtel customers in these five countries to win match tickets for the summer's pre-season tour fixture and receive club content and news on their handsets.

It will also help the north London side reach some of its 42 million fans across the African continent.

“Airtel will be designated as the official mobile operator of the 2012 Arsenal Tour to Nigeria,” the statement added.

The 2012 visit is scheduled for August and Airtel is in the process of finalising arrangements that will give selected consumers a chance to watch the match and interact with the team in Abuja.

Arsenal will also support the “Airtel Rising Stars” football programme, an annual, multi-country soccer initiative that offers young boys and girls the opportunity to showcase their talent before selectors in their respective countries.

The selected youngsters get an opportunity to get the best-in-class sports training during a residential clinic organised by Airtel and its partners.

Arsenal is following in the steps of fellow football club Manchester United, which has been forging links with telecommunications sponsors overseas to boost their fan base.

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