Dubai’s Emirates Airline has spent about $100 million on football sponsorship in the past four years to be one of FIFA's six top "partners", according to London-based Brand Finance, which works with corporate marketers.
"They have made a very strategic investment, and they are kind of ingrained in the games," Brand Finance sports valuation analyst Dave Chattaway was quoted as saying by The Economic Times.
"You can truly say they are a global brand name."
Emirates sponsors six European premier league teams, including Arsenal, AC Milan, and Real Madrid.
Sports sponsorship has become a central part of the airline’s marketing strategy as it rapidly expands its network.
Emirates also is the top sponsor of the Melbourne Cup and supports the US Open Series, the Formula One, Australian Football League’s Collingwood Football Club, and various golf, cricket and other sporting events and teams.
Front Row Marketing Services senior vice-president Eric Smallwood told The Economic Times he expects Emirates to remain a FIFA sponsor when Russia hosts the next World Cup in 2018.
Emirates Airline declined to comment on the report.