Emirates Airlines has signed a seven-year deal worth $195m (&£112m) to become a FIFA Partner in the airline’s largest ever sponsorship tie-up.
The deal will give the airline the exclusive rights to broadcast matches during both the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup tournaments to passengers on its in-flight entertainment system.
Partnership status is the highest level of association that a FIFA sponsor can have. The deal buys Emirates massively enhanced global media exposure, with rights to all FIFA events – including both the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups. It is also an official partner of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
Emirates will use the deal to strengthen its association with international football as part of its strategy to become a global brand, according to its chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum.
As part of its partnership status, Emirates has won a commitment from FIFA to ensure that at least 22 matches, including the opening match, two-quarter finals, two semi-finals, the third place play-off and the final of both the 2010 and 2014 World Cups will be shown on free-to-air television in the United Arab Emirates.
Emirates branding will be evident at all FIFA events during the eight-year duration of the agreement – which includes 44 tournaments and 952 matches – as well as on all FIFA merchandise and its website.
In the UK, the airline will sponsor Arsenal and its new stadium from next season.