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Innovation is at the heart of all we do.
Welcome to our innovation lab



Arsenal Football Club has thrived on a pioneering and innovative spirit since its formation in 1886. The Arsenal Innovation Lab is the latest step in our desire to be at the forefront of the game on and off the pitch. We have been working with smart-thinking businesses to help us identify ground-breaking ideas to take us forwards.

  • Improving matchday experience 
  • Engaging our fans globally 
  • Transforming our partner offering 
  • Building a retail operation for the future
  • Wildcard

The Arsenal Innovation Lab’s ten-week programme was run in collaboration with corporate innovation specialist L Marks. The six successful candidates that were selected were mentored by senior business leaders from the club and gained access to test and demonstrate products/services in live environments.

Interested? Read on for more information.

What's on offer

Mentorship from Arsenal’s senior leadership team

Product validation from Arsenal stakeholders and supporters

Testing in a live fan environment

A network of external mentors with diverse market expertise

Opportunity to gain investment

Innovation Lab categories

Improving matchday experience

Nothing beats a matchday at Emirates Stadium – it’s a unique experience that keeps fans coming back season after season. We want to create an even more compelling and seamless experience for our supporters from the moment they leave their house to the safe arrival at their seats and home again.

Engaging our fans globally

It’s a very special experience for fans to see Arsenal play at home. However, with a stadium capacity of close to 60,000, sell-out games and global support, not every fan has the opportunity to be physically present at Emirates Stadium.

Transforming our partner offering

Most effective commercial partnerships are those which really engage our fans around the world. What new tools or systems can the club use to capture and/or analyse fan data to create better engagement and rights packages for partners?

Building a retail operation for the future

We have done lots of work to transform the shopping experience for our supporters in-store and online. How can we leverage new technologies to ensure an even smoother experience for fans making purchases in-store, as well as those shopping online?


Arsenal Football Club stands for community, class and progressive thinking. We want to hear from the technologists and entrepreneurs who are disrupting the norm and unearthing new innovations that can continue to drive the club forwards.

Programme Sponsors

Vinai Venkatesham

Vinai is Chief Commercial Officer at Arsenal Football Club, where he is responsible for all commercial activities.

This includes Arsenal's sponsorship, strategy, ticketing, hospitality, retail, marketing, fan services, customer relationship management (CRM) and media businesses. In total he leads a team of over 200 permanent staff.

Vinai is a member of the Arsenal Executive Team and a board member of Arsenal Broadband Limited who own Arsenal's media and digital rights.

An Oxford graduate, Vinai started his career as an oil trader and then worked as a strategy consultant at Deloitte before joining the commercial team of the London 2012 Olympics. Vinai is also a non-executive director of the London 2017 World Athletics and World Para Athetics Championships.

Hywel Sloman

Hywel has been IT Director at Arsenal Football Club since February 2011. He is responsible for all technology for the club. This includes football operations, fan services, ticketing, retail, CRM, stadium management, hospitality management and club-wide functions.

Hywel has driven a technology transformation since joining Arsenal, overhauling business processes and applications to generate significant commercial growth and improve fan services, while undertaking a three-year infrastructure overhaul.

Prior to joining Arsenal, Hywel worked in professional services at both Deloitte and Accenture, working on major IT projects such as BBC iPlayer.

About Us


Arsenal is one of the leading clubs in world football with a strong heritage of success, progressive thinking and financial stability.

The club was founded in 1886 in Woolwich, south London, before moving to Highbury in north London in 1913. We moved to Emirates Stadium in 2006.

Arsenal has an impressive roll of honour: English League Champions 13 times, FA Cup winners a record 13 times, League Cup winners twice and European Cup Winners’ Cup (1994) and European Fairs Cup (1970) winners once.

In addition, Arsenal Women are the most successful English club in women’s football. They celebrate their 30th season this year. The club has 45,000 season ticket holders, 1.8m digital global members and one of the biggest digital followings in the game with a reach of 85m across all channels.

The Arsenal Foundation uses the power of football and the Arsenal name to inspire and support young people in north London and across the globe. The Arsenal Foundation raises funds each year and works with a number of key partners including Save The Children, Islington Giving, Willow and the Gunners’ Fund. Locally, Arsenal in the Community has delivered programmes to drive positive social outcomes for more than 30 years.

For further information please visit

L Marks

L Marks is a corporate innovation specialist and early-stage investor. They build bridges between large corporates seeking to innovate more quickly with young companies with disruptive technologies, products and services. Founded in 2012 by serial entrepreneur Stuart Marks, they run bespoke partnership programmes across industry sectors, supporting rapid innovation and connecting them with the best small businesses.

They work with clients such as John Lewis, BMW and International Airlines Group (IAG) to identify where they believe the challenges are in their businesses and then turn these into opportunities for improvement and innovation. Each programme is tailored to deliver real solutions to the corporate partners and create real opportunities for small businesses to test and grow their product with a major partner.