Marketing where the fans are: Kagame signs $11m deal with French soccer club to promote Rwanda as a tourism destination

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Rwanda signed a deal on Wednesday with one of the wealthiest clubs in world soccer, French soccer club Paris St Germain to promote tourism, its second such agreement since last year.

Rwanda will be the exclusive suppliers of coffee and tea at Parc des Princes, (PSG’s home stadium) next season and showcase Rwanda’s brands at a week-long event in Paris.
This is the second major sponsorship deal Rwanda has signed with a top European soccer club. Last year it paid $39 million for its “Visit Rwanda” sleeve sponsorship with English Premier League side Arsenal. News of the Arsenal deal was met with widespread criticism from the development and policy community given the poverty levels in a country where per capita income is estimated at just $700.- Quartz reported.

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“We invest part of our tourism revenues in strategic collaborations such as the one with Paris St Germain because we understand the positive effect they have on the overall perception of the country globally,” the Rwanda Development Board’s chief executive, Clare Akamanzi, said in a statement after the signing.
Akamanzi did not say how much Rwanda would pay for the deal. A source close to the French club said it was worth between 8 and 10 million euros (about $11M).- Reuters reported

Under the deal, PSG will promote Rwandan products, while messages promoting Rwanda will be displayed on its women’s team kit and in the club’s stadium.
PSG said on Twitter that it had signed a deal “inviting the world to participate in the remarkable transformation of Rwanda”.
Last May, Rwanda signed a sponsorship and tourism promotion deal with the English soccer club Arsenal. The RDB boss Clare Akamanzi claimed the country’s strategy of multi-million dollar soccer sponsorship deals has paid off as it has already recouped over 100% in marketing benefits from its first year of the sponsorship with Arsenal. It said Rwanda saw a 5% increase in visitors from the UK during that period

Rwanda expects to earn $800 million by 2024, mainly from conferences and high-end tourists who trek with gorillas.
Long-term, Rwanda’s central goal is boosting its local tourism industry—its largest foreign revenue earner—as it aims to grow revenues to $800 million by 2024, from $438 million in 2017.

While the country has positioned itself as a high-end conference and business destination, it also strongly relies on its wildlife attractions, specifically its mountain gorillas—one of the world’s most endangered species.

read: Uganda Government allows study of power project in Murchison Falls national park

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