Emirates kicks off $195m FIFA deal

Sheikh Ahmed and FIFA’s Blatter

EMIRATES Airline has signed a $195-million deal to become a FIFA partner from 2007 to 2014, by when the airline will be approximately twice its current size.

As a FIFA partner, the highest level of association a sponsoring company can have with football's governing body, Emirates has rights to all FIFA events – including both the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups – enhanced global media exposure, and an association with FIFA’s special events and development initiatives.
Emirates is currently an official partner of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. This relationship cements its position as one of the football’s most committed supporters.
The landmark sponsorship deal – by far the largest the airline has ever been involved with – was signed by the Emirates chairman, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, and the FIFA president, Joseph S Blatter, at Park Hyatt Dubai.
Says Sheikh Ahmed: “As an official partner of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Emirates wanted to strengthen its association with international football, the most widely supported sport in the world. It is part of Emirates plan to become a global brand and household name, and association with the most high-profile sporting event in the world is one part of Emirates’ strategy to achieve that aim.
“We believe sport is an ideal vehicle to communicate with our passengers and football is a perfect platform for us to share and enjoy their passion. This partnership will enable us to achieve global awareness of our brand at football events all around the world as well as in our home territory of Dubai.”

In related news, the airline is expected to make a formal request to Canberra for extra flights to Australia within the next two months, according to reports. Its existing capacity will be used up in September when its Perth services go twice-daily and its flights to Australia per week rise to 49.
The airline has signalled it would like to eventually double its capacity into Australia, prompting a sharp warning from Qantas that it would lobby hard against such a proposal.