Arsenal drafts in Luchford to run 'lifestyle' campaign

Arsenal Football Club has decided it needs a PR agency to revamp its image and attract non-supporters of the club through the turnstiles.

Luchford APM has been brought in as Arsenal prepares for its final season at Highbury. The club will relocate to its new Emirates Stadium for the 2006/07 season.

It wants the agency to bag coverage outside the sports pages for Arsenal with the aim of wooing 'not just Arsenal fans but anyone who loves football' to matches.

Luchford's four-year contract also has a property PR element - the agency will help promote flats which are scheduled to be built on the site of the current stadium.

The account is being directed by agency partners Kelly Luchford and Alison Poole, who said: 'We see the coverage heightening the Arsenal brand name, in turn resulting in further sales from tickets and (corporate) boxes to apartments.'

Arsenal has been overshadowed by rivals Chelsea both on and off the pitch in the past 12 months, as the west London club won the Premiership, cranked up its global brand marketing and only this week beat Arsenal to transfer target Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Arsenal MD Keith Edelman said in a statement: 'Our move to the new stadium has been years in the planning and we have chosen Luchford APM as the best agency to communicate this.'

Luchford handled an 18-month lifestyle communications project for Chelsea four years ago.

It is not the first time Arsenal has used external PR advisers: the club used Good Relations to liaise with locals when it was seeking planning consent for its new ground.

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