Arsenal signs its ‘largest sponsorship deal ever’ with Dubai’s Emirates

Emirates’ five-year kit sponsorship deal with Arsenal is believed to be worth in the region of £200 million. (AFP)
Updated 20 February 2018
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Arsenal signs its ‘largest sponsorship deal ever’ with Dubai’s Emirates

LONDON: Dubai’s Emirates airline and Arsenal have announced the biggest-ever sponsorship deal in the football club’s history, extending the airline’s shirt-naming rights by five years. 
The deal secures Arsenal’s longest-running shirt partnership, which started in 2006. 
Sources told Arab News the arrangement is worth £200 million ($280 million) and that it starts in 2019. The deal covers all the club’s shirts for all of its teams.
“Emirates is a great partner for Arsenal — a world-class brand with a truly global reach. The airline plays a significant role in our ambitions to extend our influence and following around the world,” Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis told media in a statement. 
The arrangement between Arsenal and Emirates Airline is an ideal fit, Nick Walford of sponsorship consultancy firm Redmandarin told Arab News. 
“London is a key destination for Emirates and Arsenal is their long-term London sponsorship platform, so a continuation of the deal makes commercial sense,” he said. 
“If they had not renewed this deal, how would this have been perceived in their competition with Etihad?”
Sponsorship deals of this magnitude are common at the top end of the English Premier League, with Manchester United raking in $74 million a year from its arrangement with Chevrolet, according to The Telegraph, and Manchester City reaping $28 million a year from Etihad Airways as part of a wider £400 million ($560 million) shirt and stadium-naming rights package. 
The boss of Emirates confirmed the airline’s commitment to Arsenal: “As a business, we are hugely committed to supporting sports all over the world and our relationship with Arsenal is no different. Our partnership with Arsenal Football Club is a great combination of two truly global brands and we’re very pleased to have extended this relationship for five more years,” Emirates President Sir Tim Clark said in a statement.
As part of the extended deal, Arsenal will fly on Emirates jets on pre-season tours. Emirates in turn will retain marketing rights to develop campaigns and initiatives around the world.
Arsenal’s north London home will continue to be known as Emirates Stadium up until 2028, as part of an extension agreed with Emirates in 2012.


Malika Favre: Artist who put Saudi women in the driver’s seat 

Updated 24 June 2018
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Malika Favre: Artist who put Saudi women in the driver’s seat 

  • In September 2017, King Salman issued a decree declaring an end to the decades-long ban from June 2018
  • Some three million women in Saudi Arabia could receive licences and actively begin driving by 2020

French artist Malika Favre has created iconic covers for “The New Yorker” magazine, with animations that have gone viral online. So she was the natural choice for Arab News to illustrate our souvenir edition commemorating the day when women are allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia.
As Faisal J. Abbas, editor in chief of Arab News, explained: “Our website and newspaper — which today features a striking cover illustration by artist Malika Favre — will provide comprehensive coverage of both the immediate impact and wide-reaching, long-term social benefits of this move.”
From her base in London, Favre explained why the idea immediately appealed. “For me, it’s exactly the kind of subject that I want to work with and tackle today. I’ve been increasingly involved with women’s issues over the past few years, with The New Yorker as well.
“These stepping stones are extremely important, and they should be celebrated. It’s also something that as a woman I feel very strongly about.”
What made our global creative director, Simon Khalil, think that the in-demand artist would take his assignment on? “As a champion of women for years through her unique creative style, Malika Favre was the obvious choice,” he said. “Her illustration brilliantly captures the significance of this moment on the day Saudi Arabia changed forever.” 
For the illustration, called “Start Your Engines,” Favre began with the idea of “something quite subtle, not aggressive, something celebratory,” coming up with an image of a “beautiful, Arabic woman” that tells a story within a story. 
“So, basically, I had this idea of looking at the car from the point of view of the woman who is driving, and so maybe the first thing you see is a woman with a headscarf and quite a colorful image, but then on the second layer you see what’s happening and you see that she is driving the car,” Favre said. 
The image of her hands on the wheel, and that iconic Gulf vehicle, a white SUV, are reflected in her sunglasses. These are animated online. “I really like the idea of this woman being on the road, because I think symbolically it’s about going forward,” she said. “That is also a positive element, to create a positive image of what this historic moment will change.” 
The topic also resonated with Favre because her mother, while she was born in France, is Algerian. “For her, she always wanted to have the same rights as everyone else. She was a big advocate for that. She raised me in that way as well. So for her it’s also an important cover on a personal level.” 
When asked about her favorite assignments, Favre referenced “Operating Theatre” for The New Yorker’s “Health, Medicine & the Body” issue last year. 
“It was an extremely important project because it went totally viral.” 
In her illustration, female surgeons are arranged in a circle looking down, as if the viewer is on the operating table. In the animation, the image is viewed as if through a blinking eyelid. Women surgeons around the world started re-enacting Favre’s cover, sharing more than 5,000 photos, with the hashtags #NYerORCoverChallenge and #ILookLikeASurgeon. 
“For me, it was a very important moment,” Favre said. “It reached out to an audience that wasn’t design-focused. It was something very profound that spoke to these women, and they took it as a very strong statement of let’s celebrate women surgeons.” 
Does Favre think the women of Saudi Arabia are up for such an assignment? “I think it definitely has the potential to do that as well,” she said. Challenge accepted. 


• Download our free #SaudiWomenCanDrive mobile phone background designed by renowned artist Malika Favre:  https://startyourengines.21wallpaper.design