Dubai’s Emirates Airline is expected to sign a €120m ($160m), four-year deal to become the main shirt sponsor of Spanish football giants Real Madrid, sources told Arabian Business.
The agreement, expected to be unveiled at club’s Santiago Bernebeu stadium on Thursday, will be worth around $40m per year and will see the airline’s logo replace online betting firm Bwin on the club’s iconic white jerseys from the 2013/2014 season onwards.
The deal will be one of the largest sponsorship packages in world football to date. Rival Gulf airline Qatar Airways recently struck a deal to become the first ever commercial sponsor of fellow Spanish club FC Barcelona, also said to be worth about $40m per season. German side Bayern Munich receives about $35m annually from its deal with Deutsche Telekom, while Manchester United’s agreement with insurer Aon is worth $30m every year.
Emirates Airline did not immediately respond to Arabian Business’s request for comment on the matter.
Emirates currently has an existing relationship with the current La Liga runners-up and Champions League semi-finalists, which sees the Dubai airline’s branding appear in stadium Santiago Bernabeu, as well as other global promotional and hospitality rights.
The operate also has deals in place with a number of Europe’s top sporting clubs, including English Premier League side Arsenal, whose shirts and stadium the airline’s branding appears on. The airline also sponsorship arrangements with Qatar-owned Paris St Germain and Hamburger SV.