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SBD Global/July 11, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Dubai-based Emirates Airline Makes U.S. Open Series Its Second-Biggest Benefactor

The Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series is the company's second biggest sponsorship measured by fees, even more than the airline’s deal with EPL club Arsenal, Emirates Head of Sponsorship Roger Duthie told a group of reporters in N.Y. on Tuesday. The U.S. Tennis Association, which organizes the Series that begins this week, hosted the luncheon to introduce its new title sponsor Emirates, a Dubai-based company that flies mostly to Asian and African destinations. But the airline is expanding in the U.S., and it will have seven cities in the country by September when Washington, D.C. is added. Emirates’ top sponsorship is with FIFA, and Duthie admitted that if Arsenal renews when its deals expires next year, the new one likely would top the seven-year, $91M tennis pact. Tennis, like soccer, offers a global audience, he said. However, he also emphasized the local markets the U.S. Open Series reaches with 10 ATP and WTA events and the importance to Emirates of entertaining the fans on site. The company plans a series of digital and social media initiatives during the Series and at the U.S. Open, which Emirates is also sponsoring.
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