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Arsenal’s new fan rewards programme will also create opportunities for sponsors

Scheme is part of Arsenal's aim to become "world's most innovative football club", says commercial chief.

5 August 2021 Sam Carp
  • My Arsenal Rewards scheme to acknowledge fans for buying tickets, attending matches and making purchases
  • Rewards will include playing on the pitch at Emirates Stadium, watching a match from hospitality box and attending a Mikel Arteta press conference
  • Adidas and Cadbury already onboard as partners of new scheme

Arsenal have launched a new fan rewards programme that will also create opportunities for the club’s sponsors, according to Peter Silverstone, the Premier League side’s chief commercial officer.

Launched ahead of the upcoming 2021/22 season, the My Arsenal Rewards scheme is giving fans the opportunity to effectively convert their everyday interactions with the club into rewards, prizes and money-can’t-buy experiences. 

The new My Arsenal Rewards membership card, which season ticket holders and adult paying members will receive in the build-up to the new campaign, will work as an electronic matchday ticket, a rewards card and a payment card for UK-based members.

Club members will be able to earn points by buying tickets, attending matches, and using their pre-paid membership card to make purchases at the club’s online and physical retail stores, as well as with selected partners and a range of affiliates.

In return, supporters will receive rewards including a chance to play on the pitch at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, be taken on a tour of the club’s training ground, watch a game in the new dedicated My Arsenal Rewards hospitality box, and attend one of manager Mikel Arteta’s press conferences.

Speaking to SportsPro, Silverstone said there will be opportunities to integrate the club’s commercial partners into My Arsenal Rewards, with Adidas, the team’s kit supplier, and Cadbury already onboard as partners of the initiative.

He added that other sponsors such as Lavazza, Santa Rita, Camden Town Brewery and Octopus Energy  have expressed interest in the scheme, which will enable Arsenal to reward fans for engaging with their partners.

However, Silverstone stressed that while My Arsenal Rewards will present commercial opportunities with the club’s partners, the success of the new programme will not be determined by bottom line profit.

“I think the first thing to say is that despite my title as chief commercial officer, and the fact that this programme is run primarily out of the various departments in the commercial team, the determinant of success will not be bottom line profit,” Silverstone told SportsPro. “The gauge of success for this programme will be if we are able to bring fans closer to the club they love. And that is genuine. 

“We are convinced that based on the discussions and engagements that we've had with our passionate fans groups who have been involved in formulating the programme, that we will take fan engagement to a new level and deliver to our supporters the best fan experience in world sport. And My Arsenal Rewards is a key element of that.”

Arsenal believe that My Arsenal Rewards is a first-of-its-kind programme for one of soccer’s major clubs because such a loyalty scheme has never been carried out “on the size and scale” of the Gunners’ membership base, according to Silverstone, who said he expects other clubs to implement similar initiatives going forward.

Silverstone also said that My Arsenal Rewards has not been launched partly in response to the events of the last 12 months, which included the club’s decision to join, and subsequently step away from, a proposed European Super League (ESL) breakaway competition. 

Instead, Silverstone revealed that Arsenal have been in conversation with fan groups “over the last few years” about the new initiative and said the club will continue to engage supporters about how the scheme evolves in the future. 

“We were almost in a position to announce and launch this last year,” Silverstone said, “but because we weren't sure when fans would be coming back to the stadium at that point, and also the work in building the hub, developing the app, creating the rewards, we wanted to take time and that time has been very well spent this year.

“My Arsenal Rewards happened regardless of the ESL. Our desire to build and engage and reward our fans came long before the ESL, and the ESL is something that we've discussed and apologised for at board and ownership level. 

“But from a from a day-to-day perspective, our relationship with our fan groups has been extremely strong on initiatives like My Arsenal Rewards, getting back to the stadium during Covid times, different areas of membership. So the timing is just perfect.” 

My Arsenal Rewards is the latest in a string of fan engagement initiatives to be announced by the North Londoners, which Silverstone said is part of Arsenal’s goal to be perceived as “the world’s most innovative football club”. 

In July, Arsenal became the latest club to team up with the blockchain company Chiliz, which will lead to the launch of the $AFC fan token on the Socios.com fan engagement platform. My Arsenal Rewards members will have a limited time to receive a free $AFC fan token, which will give supporters the right to participate in interactive polls, games, competitions and quizzes every season.  

Prior to that, Arsenal confirmed that they will join a growing list of Premier League clubs that have been the subject of a documentary series on the Amazon Prime Video streaming service.

Arsenal kick off the new Premier League season on 13th August, when they travel across the capital to take on newly promoted Brentford.

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