Emirates agrees deal to sponsor Arabian Gulf League

Emirates has added to its sports marketing strategy with a three-year, Dh25 million deal to sponsor the Arabian Gulf League (AGL).

The deal gives Emirates brand visibility and on-site advertising at the Arabian Gulf Super Cup, which takes place on Saturday, plus advertising opportunities at all 182 AGL matches, 45 Arabian Gulf Cup matches and 26 televised U21 League matches.

Emirates’ support will help the league in its vision of providing UAE football with a platform to thrive at international level, according to Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, divisional senior vice president commercial operations.

The start of the domestic football league season in the UAE and neighbouring countries is currently on hold due to uncertainty surrounding the 23rd Gulf Cup of Nations.

The competition was scheduled to take place in Kuwait from December 23 to January 5 resulting in a month’s break for the AGL. However, the host country has asked for it to be postponed for a year as the stadiums are not expected to be ready.

The Dubai carrier already sponsors some of Europe’s leading football clubs, such as Arsenal, AC Milan, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

In May, it signed a three-year deal to sponsor the FA Cup, football’s oldest cup competition which has been rebranded as the Emirates FA Cup. The deal was reported to worth about £10 million (Dh56.5m) a year.

During the same month it struck a three-year shirt sponsorship deal with the Lisbon football club Benfica.

Research from the consultancy Repucom showed that the UAE was the single biggest investor in shirt sponsorship in Europe between 2005 and now.

Emirates is also the official airline and partner of the Asian Football Confederation, the governing body of Asian football, and has sponsorship rights to all of its tournaments.

ioxborrow@thenational.ae

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