By Keira Daley
2 August 2010
Arsenal may still be plagued with doubts that refuse to go away about the future of Cesc Fabregas but the club announced two positive pieces of news today – first, the signing of a potentially lucrative three-year commercial partnership with Thomson Sport, which will become the club’s official travel partner and supplier; and second that Arsenal smashed their fund-raising target for the 2009-10 season’s nominated charity appeal.
The club raised a record total of £818,897 for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity through the ‘Be a Gooner. Be a Giver’ campaign. The target was £500,000. The cash will enable the hospital “to update its current cramped and outdated facilities to build a well planned, modern and spacious Arsenal Lung Function Unit”, due to open in 2012. The fundraising activities happened over the period of a year and included the nominated match day in November when Arsenal played Chelsea and every first-team player and director donated a day’s wages to the causes, raising £210,000 on that day alone.
The deal with Thomson Sport means the travel firm will be the provider of travel and accommodation for Arsenal’s teams and for key executives linked to the club travelling to matches. Under its terms Thomson Sport will supply and manage all travel arrangements for Arsenal’s men’s and ladies’ first teams, both within the UK and in continental Europe, as well as providing executive travel to the club’s key stakeholders including sponsors and members of the press.
The agreement means Thomson Sport will be promoted as a one-stop-shop “for a range of travel and accommodation options for fans for both home and away games in all major competitions.” For Premier League matches, FA Cup, Carling Cup and European group and knockout matches played at home, Thomson Sport will offer the Arsenal at Home package, comprising of match tickets together with travel, accommodation and Arsenal-related products including guided tours of Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and vouchers for the club shop. When Arsenal has away fixtures in UEFA tournaments fans will travel with Arsenal Abroad, where Thomson Sport will offer tickets and travel packages to members of the club’s ticket and membership scheme.
Thomson Sport will operate a holiday club ‘Arsenal Holiday Hub’ allowing fans access to an automatic discount on Thomson and First Choice holidays. Arsenal will benefit from an up-front cash payment and a revenue share while Thomson will get marketing access to the club’s 42,000 season ticket holders and “165,000 active paying club members”, as well as a wider fan base via the website, programme and other official channels.
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