Arsenal searching for new shirt sponsor amid reports Emirates are backing out of football

Emirates still has two years left on its kit sponsorship with Arsenal

Arsenal have reportedly begun searching for a new shirt sponsor, despite having two years left on their current deal with Emirates.

The current shirt sponsorship agreement with the Dubai-based airline company is due to expire at the end of the 2018/19 season, however according to reports in the Daily Mail, the Premier League club are already in the process of finding a new partner.

Emirates is understood to have become "disillusioned" with football and is looking to reduce its sponsorship presence across the sport. It is also expected to opt out of renewing its £10m a year FA Cup partnership with just one year remaining.

Both parties have denied the claims though and insist that they are committed to continuing the longstanding working relationship.

Emirates issued a statement saying: “Emirates strongly denies the rumour about our sponsorship of Arsenal’s kit coming to an end, which is categorically untrue.

"As a long-standing supporter of football, we are passionate about the game and are a proud partner to the team.”

An Arsenal spokesman added: “We are not in the market to look for a new shirt sponsor. Emirates are happy with their partnership with us and their broader relationships in football.”

Emirates will continue to hold the naming rights to Arsenal’s 60,000 capacity London stadium though with the deal due to run for another 11 years.

Bringing in a new shirt sponsor could help Arsenal maximise their kit sponsorship revenue by separating it from the stadium sponsorship and would allow the club to bring onboard another top-level commercial partner.

Arsenal’s £30m a year kit sponsorship is currently the third highest in the Premier League, behind Chelsea’s £40m with Yokohama Tyres and Manchester United’s £53m a year agreement with Chevrolet.

The London club are also one of the few teams in upper half of the league who have yet to maximise their sponsorship revenue by having a separate training kit sponsor. Emirates’ branding also fronts the team’s training kits, whereas Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool all have separate sponsorship deals with the non-match apparel.

Tony Connelly

I cover media, marketing and sponsorship news within the sports industry. This includes breaking news as well as writing feature pieces with insights from experts in the sports marketing world.

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