Thomson Sport, the UK’s leading Sports Tour Operator as voted at the British Travel Awards 2009, is today pleased to announce a major new three-year commercial partnership with Arsenal Football Club, under the terms of which it becomes Arsenal’s exclusive Official UK Travel Agency Partner, Official Team Travel Supplier and Official Supporters’ Travel Supplier.
The new partnership establishes Thomson Sport as the provider of travel and accommodation for Arsenal’s teams and for key executives linked to the club travelling to matches. Under its terms Thomson Sport will supply and manage all travel arrangements for Arsenal’s men’s and ladies’ first teams, both within the UK and in continental Europe, as well as providing Executive Travel to the club’s key stakeholders including sponsors and members of the press.
Darren Mee, Managing Director of the Sport Division of TUI Travel PLC who negotiated the deal said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this prestigious contract with Arsenal Football Club and are excited at the opportunity to work with this world famous Premier League club. We look forward to being a key partner to Arsenal Football Club for many years to come”. He continued, “We have a unique portfolio of sports specialist tour operators which consistently demonstrate high levels of service to all our customers in many different sports and source markets and we will use this unrivalled knowledge and experience to provide both the club and fans exceptional service”.
The agreement also establishes Thomson Sport as Arsenal supporters’ exclusive one-stop-shop for a range of travel and accommodation options for fans for both home and away games in all major competitions. For Premier League matches, FA Cup, Carling Cup and European group and knockout matches played at home, Thomson Sport will offer the Arsenal at Home package, comprising of match tickets together with travel, accommodation and Arsenal-related products including guided tours of Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and vouchers for the club shop. When Arsenal has away fixtures in UEFA tournaments fans will travel with Arsenal Abroad, where Thomson Sport will offer tickets and travel packages to members of the club’s ticket and membership scheme.
Thomson Sport will operate a holiday club ‘Arsenal Holiday Hub’ allowing fans access to an automatic discount on Thomson and First Choice holidays, as well as unique offers on a range of other specialist activity brands such as Crystal Ski, Sunsail, Exodus & The Adventure Company. Fans will now also be able to book accommodation for away matches in the UK and overseas and receive an automatic discount.
Vinai Venkatesham, Head of Global Partnerships at Arsenal commented: ‘Providing a high quality travel service to our players and fans is vitally important to both Arsenal’s success on the pitch and the fantastic support the players receive from the stands. As such we are delighted to welcome Thomson Sport into our family of Commercial Partners, bringing with them best-in-class experience from their work across numerous sports and International sporting tournaments. In addition to the Arsenal at Home package, Arsenal Abroad and the Arsenal Holiday Hub offerings, we look forward to working closely with Thomson Sport in the years ahead to develop further products of value to our fans.’
Nathan Wilson, Managing Director of Thomson Sport, commented: ‘We are delighted that Arsenal has selected us to be its exclusive Official UK Travel Agency Partner and are excited about the opportunities that this partnership brings. Arsenal has a vast and loyal fan base, with 42,000 season ticket holders and 165,000 active paying club members, and we look forward to playing our part in ensuring that they fully enjoy the club’s future success. We are also thrilled that we will be responsible for providing travel and accommodation for Arsenal’s teams, which are globally recognised as being amongst the world’s best. Arsenal’s history and ethos have given the club an iconic status in football and we look forward to contributing to the club’s continued success.’