Before Rwanda signed a three-year sleeve-sponsorship deal signed with English football club Arsenal in 2018, millions of Arsenal fans globally had not thought of Rwanda as a tourist destination. But the promotion ‘Visit Rwanda’ under this partnership is already putting money on the table estimated at £36M in just a year with more Arsenal fans now considering Rwanda as a destination to visit.
Rwanda Development Board (RDB), reported £30m was collected from investing in the sponsorship deal supported by analytics provided by renown English firms Nielsen, Blinkfire Analytics and research agency Hall, and Partners.
Addressing a press conference on activities ahead of the 15th edition of the gorilla naming ceremony, Kwita Izina, the RDB Chief Tourism Office Belise Kariza said that Rwanda’s decision to invest in Arsenal has paid off tremendously with at least 4.3 million people, considered as potential tourists, getting to know Rwanda as a destination.
“You can imagine that our brand is being exposed to more than 4 million people across the world. That already, in terms of creating awareness for Rwanda as a destination, is huge. There is nothing you can do, even a TV ad can’t give you this much access in terms of viewers. I think really on the visibility it is paying off. It is also paying off in terms of people visiting from the UK. In 2018 we had a 5 percent increase in visitors from the UK market only,” she said.
Kariza noted that Arsenal has over 60 million followers across all social media platforms, implying that all these followers get to see the ‘Visit Rwanda’ brand whenever it is shared especially during different events Arsenal holds with the Visit Rwanda team as well as visits by players.
In terms visibility online, Rwanda recorded a 100 percent increase for ‘Visit Rwanda’ Youtube channel subscribers, a 72 percent increase in Twitter followers and over 577 percent increase in Instagram followers since the Arsenal deal.