Arsenal have always been sort of behind the curve when it comes to endorsements and commercial partnerships. Nobody can compete with Manchester United on that front, really - I mean, look at this list. It’s insane. But, even if you take them out of the equation, Arsenal have sort of fallen off the pace a bit when it comes to non-broadcasting revenue.
They’re slowly chipping away at that disadvantage, though - there was the Visit Rwanda deal from a few weeks ago, and now today comes news of another partnership:
Yep. Arsenal now have an official streaming service, because when I think of streaming services, I think “what does my favorite sports team use?”. This does, however, contain a good bit of news for average folk like us - if you are an Arsenal member, of any paid level (digital membership not included), you get six free months of Tidal.
The deal is rumored to be worth about £1m/year, which isn’t a ton as these things go, but, as they say, a million here and a million there and soon enough you’re talking about real money. Commercial deals are where increased player budgets come from - there is a limit to how much TV revenue can be directly spent on salaries.
I’m not sure if this amount increases every season, but the last time we looked, in 2016, Premier League clubs can only increase their total wage bill by £7 million a season using TV revenue. Any increase in wages over that mark must be paid for by one of three other methods, including using increased commercial revenue.
With that in mind, I’m glad to see Arsenal dipping their toes into these waters, and hopefully they’ll find the water pleasant enough that they’ll dive right in with more deals like this.