Dubai based Emirates Airline has signed a lucrative sponsorship deal with Formula One, which will make the airline a global partner of the sport.
The deal, worth a massive USD 180 million, was announced jointly by Emirates Airline chairman Sheikh Ahmed and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. Speaking on the occasion, Ecclestone said that, “I’m obviously very proud to be associated with Emirates, the sort of brand that should be with us and us with them. We like to feel we are associated with the top corporate (brands), which we are obviously are with Emirates. The teams will benefit. It lifts everyone in Formula One.”
Emirates Airlines believes that the partnership is only natural as its vision of achieving global reach and introducing latest technological standards is similar to Formula One. The Arab region is also known for its love of fast and luxury cars. The latest tie-up signals the growing influence of Gulf nations, thriving on income earned through oil exports, in the sporting world.
Details of the agreement reveal that the Dubai-based airline will sponsor a total of 15 races each year. The first race in this regard will be held in Malaysia this year. The sponsorship deal is initially for a period of five years and excludes races, such as the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which already have airline sponsors.
The F1 race is already officially sponsored by mega names including UBS, Rolex, Tata and LG. Over the past decade, Emirates has taken keen interest in partnering with major global sports events. In 2004, the airline paid around USD 180 million for the naming rights to Premiership side Arsenal’s stadium. Emirate Airline is also an official partner with FIFA and recently entered into a five-year deal with the ATP. The cash-rich airline has recently signed a new five-year shirt sponsorship deal with top French-football club, Paris Saint-Germain.