Arsenal’s managing director Vinai Venkatesham has claimed that 51% of Arsenal fans now want to go on holiday to Rwanda thanks to the country’s sleeve sponsorship with the club.

Vinai Venkatesham
Vinai Venkatesham

Vinai Venkatesham was speaking at the Financial Times Business Summit last week and the reaction from the floor as he raised his point was reportedly quite quizzical.

Understandably so.

It’s not clear where he got that figure from but it seems a bit pie-in-the-sky to me. While I’m sure Rwanda is a beautiful country, I’ve yet to meet an Arsenal fan who has expressed a desire to visit simply because they now sponsor Arsenal.

Arsenal struck the sleeve sponsorship deal, worth a reported £30m over three years, with ‘Visit Rwanda’ back in 2018 prompting outcry from some parts of the media, including the hysterical Daily Mail, while even some Dutch MPs demanded clarification regarding the deal.

The deal, which generated far more moral outrage than any deals signed with regimes from the Middle East, but which are no less troublesome, is Arsenal’s first sleeve sponsorship and raised a number of questions.

‘Will you be going to Rwanda now?’ was not one of them…