Emirates – a major global sponsor

This coverage of Emirates, a major international airline, is one of a series by  New Millennium Business, looking into the wide span of sponsorship of sports and sporting events by leading international companies.


emirates stadiumEmirates is the large investor in sports among the world’s airlines. The airline had total sports sponsorships valued at US$272.25 million for 2013, according to Sheikh Ahmed, the uncle of the ruler of Dubai. This is up from around US$180 million just 2-3 years earlier.

Emirates signed a five-year branding deal with Formula One motor racing. This is just one of its 70+ sponsorships deals, which is more than 6 times the sponsorships of any other Gulf airline.  The deal has an annual value of at least US$10 million (£6.3 million), according to Reuters, which quoted Emirates Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum. Emirates logo will now be displayed on Formula One circuit bridges, course grounds and in team paddocks, starting with the Malaysian Grand Prix in March 2014.

Emirates’ biggest focus is on football (soccer) with current shirt sponsorships deals with some of the hottest football clubs in the world including AC Milan, Paris St Germain, and Arsenal. It has also been an Official FIFA Worldwide Partner since 2007, providing the airline massive publicity during the organisation’s many events, including the World Cup. Emirates is also the Official Airline and Partner of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the governing body of Asian football.

Emirates Arena, Glasgow.   Airline Emirates struck a £5 million deal to secure the naming rights to the complex which will be Glasgow's main 2014 Commonwealth Games sports venue.The £113 million complex, next to Celtic Park in the city's east end, will be known as the Emirates Arena until 2022 – except during the 2014 games.


- Emirates’ sponsorship of Arsenal FC is the most recognised amongst sports fans in the UK, dual shirt and stadium sponsorship

- £150 million (US$240 million) to remain as the Premier League club’s shirt sponsor for a further five years (as per 2012 report) and stadium naming rights partner until 2028. The original agreement in 2004 was part of a sponsorship deal worth over £100m with the airline. The new £150 million deal grants Emirates a five year extension to its shirt partnership with the club until the end of the 2018/2019 season while Arsenal’s home stadium will continue to be known as Emirates Stadium up to 2028.

Arsenal Stadium – known as Emirates Stadium

£3 million per year for the naming rights until 2021 – and not much more per year to extend for a further seven years until 2028.

- ten-year £36 million (US$56 million) agreement calls for the £60 million (US$93.3 million) project to be renamed as the Emirates Air Line whilst the airline's name will also appear on future versions of the London Underground map owing to the creation of two new stations, Emirates Greenwich Peninsula and Emirates Royal Docks.

Real Madrid FC

- A five-year agreement (started 2011) sees Emirates named as a partner of the Spanish team as well as its official airline

- agreement is worth "almost €5 million (US$7.2 million)" per year.

Football shirt sponsorship

Includes football shirt sponsorships in the off-season, signing deals with Spanish Primera Division club Real Madrid, French Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain, and US club New York Cosmos.

Rugby World Cup

- Emirates has renewed its deal to serve as a worldwide partner of the next two editions of the Rugby World Cup, in England in 2015 and Japan in 2019

- the airline’s logo will feature on the front of match official shirts, the first time a sponsor has occupied the space at a World Cup


- French soccer giants Paris Saint-Germain have extended their lucrative sponsorship deal with Emirates Airline

- Some reports suggest the deal is worth €25 million (US$32.17 million) annually

Formula One

- Emirates has become a global partner of Formula One and will have trackside branding at 15 races per season over the next five years (2013 report)

- Financial Times speculated that the agreement could be worth as much as US$200 million over five years


- Emirates has added to its considerable investment in tennis by signing a major new sponsorship deal with the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP)

- cash value was between US$3 million and US$4 million annually.

- official airline and a platinum partner of the ATP World Tour, including the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals until 2017

US Tennis

- United States Tennis Association (USTA) has announced Emirates Airline as a global sponsor of the US Open and US Open Series (as of 2012 report)

- the deal is worth around US$90 million over the seven year term (2019), averaging nearly US$13 million a year

- the airline will commit some US$2.5 million on promotional and hospitality efforts around the US Open

- Emirates has extended its multi-million dollar sponsorship deal with Bundesliga side Hamburger SV (HSV) until 2015

- Emirates is the club’s main and shirt sponsor was extended in a 2012 agreement, the three-year extension means the partnership will continue until 2016. The new deal is worth €8.5 million (US$13.46 million) per year, marking an increased sum on the previous deal, which sponsors estimates to be worth around €6.5 million (US$8.7 million) annually.


Emirates is the Official Airline of 14 events in 2012, as well as the Official Partner of the European Ryder Cup Team. Seven of the tournaments it sponsors are on the European Tour International Schedule, including the Alstom Open de France, Avantha Masters (India), Malaysian Open, BMW International Open (Germany), WGC-HSBC Champions (China), Barclays Singapore Open and the Ballantine’s Championship (South Korea), while it also supports the Emirates Airline Invitational (UAE), Thailand Open, Australian PGA Championship and the Emirates Australian Open, as well as the Japan Open Golf Championship (Men’s, Ladies and Seniors). Emirates’ commitment to golf and sport Australia-wide. In addition to the Emirates Australian Open, Emirates is the Official Airline for 18 other golf tournaments worldwide including the Australian PGA Championship.

Below is a list of Emirates’ partners sorted by sport:


  • FIFA – Emirates’ partnership with FIFA dates back to 2006 when it became the first airline sponsor of the prestigious FIFA World Cup™. As an Official Worldwide Partner, Emirates is involved in all major FIFA tournaments including the FIFA Women’s World Cup, FIFA Youth World Cups and FIFA Club World Cup. In 2014, Brazil will host the FIFA World Cup™ for the second time and Emirates will again be present to share the occasion with fans and players from around the world.
  • Asian Football Confederation (AFC) – Emirates will feature on all AFC publicity materials, including perimeter boards in stadiums throughout Asia, and a ticketing facility for all the official AFC tournaments.
  • Arsenal FC & Emirates Stadium
  • AC Milan – AC Milan is one of the world’s most successful clubs and Emirates has been proud sponsors of the Italian club since 2007. Top Institutional Sponsor for three years providing branding rights at AC Milan’s San Siro stadium as well as at their Milanello training ground alongside ticket and hospitality benefits. In 2010, Emirates expanded its relationship with AC Milan by signing a four-year deal to become the club’s official shirt sponsor.
  • Paris Saint-Germain – Emirates has been a sponsor of Paris Saint-Germain since 2005 and the main shirt sponsor since 2006. A renewal of that commitment on 17th May 2013 sees the airline remain Official Shirt Sponsor of the 2012/2013 Ligue 1 Champions Paris Saint-Germain until the end of the 2018/2019 season
  • Hamburger SV – Emirates renewed its sponsorship with Hamburger SV for another three seasons until June 2015, football club's main shirt sponsor, the deal includes prominent branding at Imtech Arena, the home of Hamburger SV, as well as promotional and hospitality rights.
  • Real Madrid C.F. – five-year shirt sponsorship of the Club until the end of the 2017/2018 season,  ‘Fly Emirates’ logo will appear on the front of Real Madrid’s playing and training kits. The new agreement also contains a number of additional hospitality rights, including a branded VIP Lounge at the stadium, additional player access and further advertising rights. Emirates will also continue to enjoy highly visible branding at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.
  • Olympiacos FC – Emirates announced the renewal of its sponsorship of Olympiacos, continuing the airline’s involvement with the most successful club in Greek football history until 2013. (no recent update yet)
  • Arsenal Soccer Schools Dubai – training programme is designed to help young players develop their technical skills and passion for the game, ensuring they have a platform to reach their potential.
  • The Emirates Cup – Emirates is the title sponsor of the pre-season tournament held at Arsenal FC's home ground. The Emirates Cup is an annual two-day pre-season football tournament hosted by the Emirates sponsored English Premier League club Arsenal FC. The tournament brings over 100,000 people to the Emirates Stadium.
  • Zain Saudi Professional League – In 2011, Emirates signed a sponsorship agreement with the Zain Saudi Professional League, becoming Official Partner and Official Airline of the league. The agreement will spans three and half years, and sees Emirates branding throughout all Zain Saudi Professional League’s stadia.


  • Emirates Western Force (Australia)
  • USA Rugby
  • HSBC Sevens World Series
  • IRB Referees and Match Officials


  • Emirates Airline US Open Series
  • Dubai Tennis Championships
  • Rogers Cup
  • BNP Paribas Open
  • Internazionali BNL d’Italia

Horse Racing

  • Dubai International Racing Carnival
  • Dubai World Cup
  • Emirates Melbourne Cup
  • Emirates Singapore Derby
  • Victoria Racing Club
  • Title Sponsor of the Emirates
  • Godolphin Horseracing Stable


  • The Ryder Cup (EU)
  • UBS Hong Kong Open
  • DP World Tour Championship
  • BMW International Open 2012 (Germany)
  • Japan Open
  • WGC-HSBC Champions
  • Emirates Australian Open Championship
  • Australian PGA Championship
  • Austrian Golf Open
  • Avantha Masters (India)
  • Ballantine’s Championship
  • Barclays Singapore Open
  • Maybank Malaysian Open
  • Thailand Open
  • Alstom Open de France
  • Irish Open
  • Boeing Classic (US)


  • Durham County Cricket Club
  • ICC Umpires
  • Lord’s Taverners
  • Deccan Chargers
  • ICC Cricket World Cups
  • ICC Champions Trophy
  • ICC World Twenty20
  • Pro Arch Tournament


  • Emirates Team New Zealand

Australian Rules Football

  • Collingwood Football Club

Arts & Culture

  • Melbourne Australian Symphony Orchestra
  • Sydney Australian Symphony Orchestra
  • San Francisco Symphony
  • Dubai International Film Festival
  • Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
  • Skywards Dubai International Jazz Festival
  • KidZania
  • Dubai Summer Surprises [annual shopping festival]
  • Emirates Air Line – London's first urban cable car system

Eric Winton

Director, New Millennium Business

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