From Rwanda Tea being served at the gigantic Parc des Princes on game days to a week of showcasing Made in Rwanda products in Paris, details of how Rwanda will benefit from a partnership deal between Rwanda and French football giants Paris Saint Germain (PSG) have been revealed.
Rwandan brands and players in the tourism industry are bracing themselves to cash in on the three year sponsorship deal which was announced on Wednesday, which among other things will see PSG current first team players and legends travel to Rwanda to promote tourism and sports development.
According to the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) Chief Tourism Officer Belise Kariza, under the deal, PSG will promote Rwanda and Rwandan products within the French community and among its millions of fans globally, interesting them to travel to Rwanda.
“PSG is one of the most successful French clubs and what this deal is going to do in summary is to invite the French Community, PSG fans and the world to experience Rwanda in a very unique way,” Kariza said on Thursday.
“We have a deal to promote the tourism and MICE aspect but we have also included elements like promoting Made in Rwanda products like our coffee and tea and last but not least, Sports development with a specific focus on football,” she added.
According to Kariza, the partnership is built on three pillars, the first one being the cultural and artistic synergies, sports development and commitment to excellence.
“One thing in particular that excited PSG as a community or as a club is that they share one important value with Rwanda as a country, which is commitment to excellence,” she said, revealing some of the benefits Rwanda will get from the three year deal who value has not been revealed due to a confidentiality clause.
“Some of the benefits on the tourism aspect and as far as Brand Rwanda is concerned is that we will tap into PSG global fanbase and of course everyone else who is linked to PSG as a brand. First team players and legends will travel to Rwanda for a remarkable experience,” she said.
From Rwanda, the players or legends will be expected to share their experiences with the more than 70 million fans across the globe and it is envisaged that from the promotional videos and articles, fans too will pick interest in Rwanda or products made in Rwanda, as has been the case with the Visit Rwanda deal with English football club Arsenal.
As part of the deal, Visit Rwanda branding will be displayed at the Parc des Princes during match days to promote Rwanda as a tourism destination while fans will get an opportunity to savour award winning Rwanda tea and coffee served at the stadium beginning next season.
The ‘Visit Rwanda’ insignia will be worn on the sleeves of the PSG women’s team while it will be inscribed on the training and warm up kits of the men’s team. Warm up kits are worn ahead of the match inside the stadium as players prepare for the game.
Apart from first team players and legends travelling to Rwanda to experience the country, PSG will also organize football clinics and training for youth and coaches as part of the football development programme that is part of the deal.
“Visit Rwanda” will also be displayed on backdrops for interviews and on giant screens during PSG’s home games while a weeklong activity dubbed ‘Semaine du Rwanda à Paris’ will be organized in coming months to promote Made in Rwanda products in the European country.
Fashion, arts and coffee and tea sectors are expected to benefit greatly from the deal as part of the promoting lifestyles and culture.
According to Cynthia Uwacu, the Division Manager, Export Market Development and Innovation at National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), the reality of Rwandan tea and coffee being exposed to more than 47, 000 fans weekly is extremely exciting for the players in the industry.
She said that through market value chains, the benefits that will be accrued from the deal which is expected to increase the visibility and the awareness of Rwandan tea and coffee while boosting sales will trickle down to the farmer down in the village.
“France is not of the countries where we have been exporting our tea and coffee and for us this deal is exciting because it will increase tea and coffee exports to France and Europe,”
“Last year in October the partnership we launched with Alibaba has increased our sales in China by over 700 per cent. You can only imagine how this deal will boost coffee and tea sales in France,” said Uwacu.
The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Sports Didier Maboko Shema said the partnership will go a long way in developing football in the country, particularly in honing young players and talents through the sports development aspect between Rwanda and PSG.
“This is the second deal we are having with a big club. It comes to complement and add on what we have been doing with Arsenal. We will focus mainly on youth development because as we know PSG is one of the biggest clubs in Europe with expertise in football development,”
“This partnership will contribute to our football development where we expect to gain from the PSG football philosophy since PSG is one of the biggest clubs in Europe,” the PS said, adding that girls and boys will benefit greatly from the training programmes.
Daniel Sambai, the the 2nd Vice Chairperson Rwanda Tourism Chamber and Country Manager of Kigali Serena Hotel said that hoteliers and players in the tourism are seeing the partnership as a great opportunity to increase the number of tourists coming to Rwanda.
“We are seeing it as a great opportunity for the tourism sector which has been growing tremendously in the past years. Growth is all about the visibility and awareness of the brand,”
“As the tourism fraternity we are excited about this partnership. We are looking forward to how tourism will continue to grow as it has been in the past few years. This is really exciting for us,” Sambai said.
According to RDB, the PSG deal will add onto the benefits the country has accrued from the Visit Rwanda partnership with Arsenal.