Officials from French football club, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) have said that the decision to pursue the recently signed three-year sponsorship deal was informed by Rwanda’s attributes driven by innovation and youth-focused.
Rwanda on Wednesday announced a three-year sponsorship deal of an undisclosed value for the French soccer giants to among others promote the Visit Rwanda brand.
This is the second partnership deal with a football club following on a three-year deal with Arsenal FC in May 2018.
The agreement has provisions to promote and showcase Rwanda’s tourism destinations and Made-in-Rwanda initiatives such as fashion, arts and coffee and tea.
Marc Armstrong, the Chief Partnership Officer at Paris Saint-Germain told The New Times that since they began engagements and negotiations about one year ago with their interest informed by shared values such as focus on youth and innovation.
“We had our first conversation with RDB about one year ago with the conversation led by our president and it struck us that there were shared values between the two brands.
Our club is quite young and dynamic club which is much like Rwanda’s youth population. The two brands also have shared values such as focus on the young people and innovation,” he said from Paris.
He said that during the 12 months of negotiations in the buildup to the agreement, they have gotten to know the country better enabling them identify avenues to make the most of the partnership.
“We have gotten enough time to know the country and the people more and identified ways we can work together,” he said.
On the suitability of PSG to promote Rwanda and local brands, he said that club enjoys a huge following in France and Europe and is often viewed as a lifestyle brand beyond a football club.
“Besides being one of the top clubs in the world, we are a young club with growing influence. We have a huge following across the world especially among the young people which adds to our strength of what we can do for our partners,” Armstrong said.
He said that the nature of the agreement is such that it can be tailored to address the needs and demands of the two parties depending on priorities. This he said increases the impact they are likely to have locally.
A team from the club is expected into the country in coming days to work alongside the government in drawing up the key performance indicators and priorities for the coming year.
He said that they were well aware of Rwanda’s sponsorship agreement with Arsenal FC but added that their intentions were to go beyond football and tourism to lifestyle collaborations.
Among their pursuits is to enable Made-in-Rwanda products access the international market by providing a showcase platform.
PSG academy in Rwanda
The agreement will also impact football development with Armstrong saying that they will be setting up a football academy in Rwanda for mentorship and skills development.
Beyond sending members of PSG to Rwanda to mentor locals, he said that the team will also regularly invite Rwandan football coaches to gain training at PSG home stadium.
The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Sports Didier Maboko Shema said that organising training programmes for both coaches and youth through the partnership will see young Rwandan footballers equipped to reach their full potential.
Tea and coffee producers are readying up to meet the demand that will come from the development. Rwandan coffee and tea will exclusively be served at the stadium.
Cynthia Uwacu, from the Export Market Development department at National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) said the development presents an endless opportunity.
Hoteliers are also upbeat about the development saying that they expect growth in visitors.
Daniel Sambai, the Country Manager of the Kigali Serena Hotel said that they anticipate an increase in guests.
Innocent Nkurunziza the co-founder of Inema Arts Centre said that going forward, local artists ought to be zealous and ambitious with the aim of global relevance.
Story by Collins Mwai- The New Times- Rwanda