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African mobile network operator Airtel have signed a three-year deal with the north London club prior to their pre-season trip to the continent this summer

Arsenal have signed a three-year partnership deal with African mobile network operator Airtel ahead of their pre-season tour of Nigeria.

The deal gives Airtel permission to use the club's merchandising, hospitality and content rights in Nigeria, Zambia, Ghana, Uganda and Rwanda, giving the Gunners the potential to reach 42 million fans.

The north London club are also set to support the Airtel Rising Stars programme, which offers young children the chance to play football alongside Uefa-trained coaches.

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The club's head of global partnerships Vinai Venkatesham said: "This is the second long-term partnership arrangement to arise from the continent and we look forward to developing a number of exciting initiatives with Airtel, starting with our forthcoming tour to Nigeria in August.

"This underlines the depth of our following in Africa and how the profile of the club continues to grow internationally."

Arsene Wenger's side kick off their tour with a game against the Nigerian national team in Abuja on August 5.

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