Kigali – French Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) has announced a business partnership that goes far beyond just sports with Rwandan government that will see the Paris-based club promote brand Rwanda.
The deal with PSG that will see to promotion of the visibility of Rwandan brands and tourism comes after the central African nation partnered with English Premiership club Arsenal to promote its (Rwanda’s) tourism potential.
Rwanda sponsors North-London giants Arsenal FC’s shirt sleeve in a USD40 million (about Shs150 billion) deal sees Arsenal promote Rwanda through banners and pitch-side hording in its 60,000 capacity stadium as well as having its star players such as David Luiz visit Kigali on tourism.
Now the Paris-based club, according to Rwanda Development Board (RDB), will also have its world-class players such as Neymar Jr, Kylian Mbappé and Edinson Cavani visiting Rwanda as part of the partnership.
“Rwanda and Paris Saint-Germain will bring together their expertise through a new model of sport partnership built around three main cornerstones: cultural and artistic synergies, a shared commitment to excellence and football development,” PSG tweeted on its official handle on Wednesday.
In a statement explaining the crux of the deal whose financial coup could not be divulged due to what is being said is confidentiality of the agreement, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) said the central African country will be the exclusive suppliers of coffee and tea at Parc des Princes, PSG’s home stadium, starting next season.
“Rwanda is also going to showcase its national brands at a week-long event in Paris. It is considered a lifestyle partnership because it covers aspects beyond football and tourism,” the board said.
Marc Armstrong, Chief Partnership Officer, said: “We are delighted to welcome Rwanda into the Paris Saint-Germain family. With this partnership, we will deepen our engagement with fans in Africa. This multifaceted collaboration will showcase all Rwanda has to offer and create powerful partnerships to contribute to Rwanda’s impressive growth.
“Having spent time getting to know the country, and its people, we are incredibly excited about the opportunity to create a platform for exchange between Rwanda, France and the rest of the world.”
The other component of the deal is advertising Rwanda as a brand and ‘Visit Rwanda’ through backdrop banners. Rwanda will also have ‘Visit Rwanda’ on the shirts of PSG’s women team and on the training kits for men.
Like in the case with Arsenal, the agreement with PSG also caters to football development where PSG will continue to nature and promote the young people who want to get into football and bringing facilities to support football.
“We will be having coaching sessions and mentoring of emerging players,” Clare Akamanzi, the chief executive of RDB, said.
Akamanzi credited the deal with Arsenal FC for raising the potentials to other global sports franchises, saying PSG alerted Rwanda about the opportunity following the impact of the Arsenal deal.
“PSG has not been the only one to approach us. Other football and sports clubs across the world have expressed interest to work with Rwanda when they saw the partnership with Arsenal. Rwanda’s values and those of PSG are in alignment and have a lot in common,” she said.
RDB explained that there have been huge benefits since the signing of the Visit Rwanda-Arsenal partnership. Among others, partnership announcement generated 1,000 pieces of traditional media coverage and in the first two weeks of the partnership, global Google searches for ‘Rwanda’ were higher than the whole of 2017 and increased in the US by 1,000%.
“Furthermore, growth of Visit Rwanda’s own channels benefited from this partnership. Visit Rwanda’s social channels have seen huge growth (Instagram +577%, Twitter +72% and Facebook +44%),” the board said.
“Last year Rwanda received 1.7 million visitors to the country and we expect more this year. We are confident that this new partnership will bring even more benefits.”
A “Semaine du Rwanda à Paris” (Rwanda Week in Paris) event will be organised to promote “Made in Rwanda”. A number of fashion, art and lifestyle collaborations will also be launched over the coming months and young and eco-responsible luxury brands will join forces with Visit Rwanda and PSG in exciting tripartite collaborations.
“The ultimate goal is to translate into selling products and services. There are pre-set performance indicators agreed by both Rwanda and PSG that will measure things like the number of products and services promoted, the reach, the number of beneficiaries, among others,” Akamanzi said of how Rwanda is expected to directly benefit from the ambitious partnership.
PSG is owned by the State of Qatar, through its shareholding organisation Qatar Sports Investments. The Qatari took over PSG in 2011, making the French side one of the richest clubs in France and one of the wealthiest in the world.