Coventry University London host Arsenal FC Marketing Director for guest lecture

Wednesday 07 November 2018


Arsenal Marketing Director Michael Leavey delivered a guest lecture to students on ‘Building the Global Arsenal Brand’. Accompanying Mr Leavey was Emily Mills, currently working for the club on their two year graduate program. The talk was attended by students from undergraduate and MBA Global Business programmes, all eager to learn from such a world renowned brand. 

Mr Leavey began his talk by outlining the simplicity of Arsenal’s business model, describing it as a ‘virtuous circle’.  The virtuous circle model is a recurring cycle of events, the result of each one being to increase the beneficial effect of the next. In Arsenal’s case, he explained, investment in the team leads to more success on the field, leading to an increase in fan base and engagement, creating an increase in revenue which allows for more investment in the team. 

He went on to explain that as a self-sufficient club, Arsenal relied on three equally weighted revenue streams – broadcasting profits, ticket sales and commercial deals. Leavey highlighted the particularly important role commercial deals play in growing Arsenal as a global brand, sighting the partnership with Visit Rwanda as an example.  

Leavey elaborated on the unique nature of marketing for a football club, explaining the UK market was largely immovable. The target market for growth, therefore, is in other global regions. This is where partnerships with relevant overseas brands play a part in getting the club more exposure, he said. He also talked about how the increased access to players and events at the club granted by social media enabled them to reach markets across the globe. 

The session was highly interactive, with Mr Leavey and Ms Mills encouraging students to ask questions throughout the talk. Students were very engaged, enquiring into both topics touched upon during the talk and more general questions about the running of the club as a business. Emily Mills gave the students valuable insight into the areas of the business that made it ‘more than just a football club’.

Ash Coles, Business Development Executive for Coventry University London, said “It was great to secure Arsenal for a guest lecture with our student body. This is a fantastic example of our ever growing network of employers that are willing to engage within employer engagement in the classroom. I am thrilled that our students had the opportunity to network with a global employer and look forward to seeing how this relationship evolves. Emily and Michael both commented on how engaging the students were throughout the lecture and are hoping to return to Coventry University London to talk to more students in 2019."

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