Arsenal Look to Expand Brand Name
Arsenal announced yesterday that they will be opening their first store in the Middle East in Bahrain. This appears to be the first in a series of stores due to be opened in the Middle East, with other stores due in Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, in addition there will also be an official Arsenal online store aimed at the Arab speaking market.
Mr. Ivan Gazidis, Arsenal Chief Executive Officer said, “The Club truly appreciates the level of support it receives from the Middle East and this represents another opportunity for us to reach out to those supporters in a compelling way. We’re delighted to be bringing the first official Arsenal store to the region. We hope the launch of the Arsenal Store in Bahrain will mark the first of many stores across the GCC and we look forward to serving the rest of the region through our GCC shopping portal.”
How long have these plans been in place? Nobody knows, but it certainly has the hallmarks of new CEO Ivan Gazidis. Gazidis has realised that Arsenal have allowed other clubs to steal a march on us in terms of global marketing and the club has missed out on valuable revenue.
This shop in Bahrain and those others planned are the first steps. We need to look at the Far East in terms of Arsenal stores, but expansion needs to done slowly and in partnership with local companies who know and understand the market.
The website currently is available in Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Korean. We need to look at Arabic, French and Spanish to expand our base further.
It is a slow process to catch-up with the other teams, but Arsenal will do it with Gazidis the driving force. What will help to accelerate the process is if Arsenal played some friendlies in Japan or China or the UAE.
Arsenal cannot afford to turn their noses up at massive marketing potential in these markets.