The Formula One Group has entered into a five-year partnership deal with Emirates which will see the ambitious airline gain a presence at 15 of this year's 19 grands prix.
The announcement was made by F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone and Emirates Group chairman and chief executive HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, and adds the highest tier of motorsport alongside the likes of ATP tennis, the Commonwealth Games and Arsenal, AC Milan and Paris St German football clubs in the airline's sponsorship portfolio. The company is thought to have spent around $270m on sports sponsorships for 2013.
“This is an exciting global opportunity to align two world leading brands,” Sheikh Ahmed said in an official statement, “The ambition, cutting-edge technological standards and worldwide reach of F1 go hand in hand with Emirates' vision and ambition.
“For many years, Emirates has been at the forefront of sports partnerships across the world. With the addition of this global partnership with the F1 group we are continuing to expand our sponsorship portfolio, which I'm sure will be appreciated by sports fans.”
The deal, the exact financial terms of which have not been disclosed but are thought to be as much as $200m over five years, will see Emirates gain a branding presence at 15 races on the 2013 calendar, bridging the tours of Europe, Asia, Australia and both north and south America, beginning from next month's Malaysian Grand Prix. The Emirates logo will be prominently displayed on bridge and trackside hoardings.
“Emirates has a first class international reputation and I'm very pleased to welcome such a prestigious company as a global partner of F1,” Ecclestone added, “Watching F1 races live in flight will be something special for Emirates customers and Emirates branding at this many races on the calendar will lend strong support to their ambitious expansion plans.
“With considerable overlap between their priority markets and our own, I look forward to many successful years working on this important partnership together.”