On the official Arsenal.com website, Arsenal are listing nine fewer official partners on their website, compared to just two months ago. I was prompted to look this up by the following tweet:
Noticeable that @Arsenal have lost about 10 commercial partners/sponsors in the last few weeks (expired). Something tells me it will be hard to replace them. The club is going backwards on and off the pitch. We have fewer partners now than at any time in the last 5 years.— Gambon (@TheMightyGambon) June 2, 2019
In April, Arsenal listed 29 total partners (28 if you don’t count the Premier League) on their website.
As of today, Arsenal list 20 total partners (28 if you don’t count the Premier League).
Arsenal’s commercial deals with BetConstruct, BYD, Gatorade, 12Bet, Betfair, SBL, SportPesa, Star and Tempobet all seem to have ended.
Among the partners, three (BetConstruct, BYD, Gatorade) are at the “Official Partner” tier. Gatorade, a sponsor since 2013, is the longest term sponsor that has seemed to end their relationship with Arsenal. The deal with BYD was a bizarre case with some fraud involved. BetConstuct just became a partner in February of this year, and it appears that deal may have been a short term thing.
I went back in time using the Archive.org tool, and the regional deals seem to change fairly often. In March of 2018 Arsenal listed 19 regional partners which is more than the 17 listed March of this year.
How much this means is hard to say. The pessimist who just saw Arsenal play very poorly in the Europa League Final wants to believe the worst; that this club is going backwards and even the sponsors are bailing. There is also the thought that increasing commercial revenue was one of the areas that Ivan Gazidis did poorly, and maybe the new commercial team led by Vinai Venkatesham is letting those deals lapse to have the ability to bring in more or better deals.
In the tweet that really started me looking this up, it mentioned that “We have fewer partners now than at any time in the last 5 years” and that just isn’t true. Arsenal currently list 8 lead and official sponsors, in June 2018 Arsenal also had 8 (Visit Rwanda had just come on at the end of May bringing the total up from 7), in June 2017 Arsenal listed 7 companies at this tier, in June 2016 and 2015 Arsenal listed 11 companies at this tier and in June 2014 Arsenal listed 9 companies at this tier.
Any way you look at it, the history and nature of these partnerships is that they change regularly, and it is the end of the season when it would make sense to put in an end date into a deal. Player and staff contracts, for instance, expire on June 30 every year.
We know that Arsenal have a new deal coming up for next season with Adidas (!) and the Arsenal business team, led by Venkatesham, will have a big job on their hand to bring in more commercial revenue to help make up the loss of Champions League income.