The deal with the club’s new official soccer schools partner will set a platform for the establishment of a widespread grassroots programme across China. Beginning in 2016, the 'long-term' deal will see the London side set up Arsenal Soccer Schools in cities across China. Five will be opened next year, with Shanghai and Chongqing the first planned.
Each soccer school will be led by Arsenal-trained coaching staff. Under the deal, iRENA will utilise a range of sponsorship rights including player and legend access, digital and social promotions and tours of Arsenal’s training ground facility.
“Football in China is growing more and more popular and the government is particularly committed to encouraging youngsters to play,” iRENA chief executive Hong Gao said. “We are happy to be contributing to this through our partnership with Arsenal, which has a fantastic reputation for nurturing young players. We will be opening a number of Arsenal Soccer Schools across the country, with approximately 300 children at each school.”