Colorado Rapids Tie Up Commercial Partnerships With Arsenal

COMMERCE CITY CO (April 7 2008) - Following a productive meeting between Rapids owner Stan Kroenke and the Rapids' Partner Club Arsenal FC the Rapids are pleased to announce that they and Kroenke Sports Enterprises the Rapids' parent company have intensified their commercial relationship with the English Premier League powerhouse.

The Rapids have developed a close business relationship with Arsenal over the last year culminating in the signing of a strategic partnership agreement with the primary aims of building the Arsenal brand in the USA the Rapids using Arsenal as a resource to better their team and supporting grassroots soccer in America.
The Colorado Rapids agreement is an innovative strategic relationship combining an exchange of best practices together with commercial and marketing efforts that will see the inception of an Arsenal Centre of Excellence at Dick's Sporting Goods Park the transfer of coaching ‘know how’ where performances will be overseen by an Arsenal resource as well utilizing KSE’s Altitude Sports & Entertainment TV sports channel to disseminate Arsenal content.

Furthermore a key component of this relationship is the development of the Arsenal Cup a club tournament that will be open to American club teams from all over the United States and will be hosted at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

The relationship has been further strengthened by the completion of KSE UK’s acquisition of the 50 percent shareholding in Arsenal Broadband Limited - previously owned by ITV plc - entitling KSE UK to an interest in Arsenal.com which controls the club’s internet rights. With the completion of the Arsenal Broadband transaction the total received by ITV from KSE for its interests in Arsenal is £65 million.

As part of this arrangement ITV will be paying Arsenal £1 million for certain rights. In addition ITV will cease to be the commercial agent for Arsenal and will no longer represent the licensing activities at Arsenal.

Arsenal managing director Keith Edelman said: "We have held constructive and fruitful discussions with Stan Kroenke over the past year and are excited by the prospect of further developing our mutual commercial projects with KSE. In addition we’d like to take this opportunity of thanking ITV for their support and contribution over the last seven years."

Paul Andrews KSE's Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer said: "KSE is looking forward to a long and prosperous partnership with Arsenal Football Club. These arrangements will allow KSE to further develop soccer in the United States and capitalize on the experience and strength of Arsenal Football Club."