Writer: Nick Simmonett
Date:Friday February 9 2007
Arsenal Football club have announced a technical partnership with American side The Colorado Rapids, as revealed by Vital Arsenal late last night.
The Rapids are part of the Kroenke Sports Enterprises which is owned by American billionaire Stan Kroenke.
The exclusive deal provides Arsenal with an excellent marketing opportunity in The States, as the popularity of football looks set to rocket in America as clubs try to sign ageing stars such as David Beckham, Luis Figo and zinedine zidane.
It was not confirmed that The Rapids will change their name to incorporate 'Arsenal` in their name but two domain names including 'coloradoarsenal.com` have been purchased by the Kroenke Sports Enterprises.
An annual football tournament will be hosted at a new football academy funded by Kroenke and Arsenal. The tournament will include Arsenal, The Rapids as well as other teams from the only American professional football league - MLS.
This is just the latest step in David Dein`s evil master plan to conquer the world after Arsenal set up a centre for footballing excellence in Thailand last year.
The Rapids will travel to London to train with Arsenal for 5 days on March 8th.
AFC`s MD (managing director) Keith Edelman couldn`t hide his delight as he confirmed the deal: 'We are delighted to be able to announce our partnership with Kroenke Sports Enterprises and the Colorado Rapids.
"This is a very important step for Arsenal Football Club as this becomes our first venture into the United States marketplace. We are approaching this as a long term development partnership that will benefit both clubs significantly.'
Edelman is not the only person delighted by the deal, KSE Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer Paul Andrews had this to say: 'We are thrilled to have established such a partnership with one of the leading clubs in the world that will help continue the expansion of our sport well into the future.'
Colorado Rapids MD, and Arsenal fan Jeff Plush said: "This groundbreaking partnership with Arsenal, a team that has been in the first flights of the sports for more then 100 years is the one of the stepping stones to continue pushing our sport into the next level. In today`s international business community, soccer is the only true global sport that transcends ethnicity, culture and language and with this type of relationships we are making sure that our company is expanding this vision through our worldwide sport."
This is just the latest step made by Arsenal Holdings PLC to secure the long-term future of Arsenal football club after they secured a £100Million deal with Emirates and got the go-ahead for the Highbury Square development.
The marketing value of football in America is hard to estimate but this deal could be worth millions of pounds a season.
Date:Friday February 9 2007
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