Emirates Airline is "set to follow up" its £150M ($241.5M) sponsorship deal with Arsenal by sealing a new five-year shirt agreement with Paris St. Germain, according to Alam Khan of SPORT 360. The Dubai-based carrier is in "advanced talks" with the Paris club’s Qatari owners to extend its current contract, which ends next summer. Emirates Airline Corporate Communications VP Boutros Boutros said, "We are in the final stages and hope we can announce it as soon as we can. The Qataris are very positive and gave us the priority to continue." In addition, Real Madrid could be the next to have the Emirates name on its shirts, but Boutros said discussions on that possibility "will take place at the end of the season" when the agreement with current sponsor Bwin ends (SPORT 360, 12/6). SPORTUNE noted PSG's current deal with Fly Emirates "is worth less than" €10M ($13M) annually. If a new deal is signed "expect an important increase" in the amount of money the club will receive. Such an agreement "would not stop the club from finding an eventual parent sponsor down the road" (SPORTUNE, 12/6).
Marketing and Sponsorship
Turkish Airlines named Lionel Messi as its global brand ambassador at a press conference at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on Thursday. The Barcelona striker joins NBA L.A. Lakers G Kobe Bryant and tennis player Caroline Wozniacki as the company's global brand ambassadors (Turkish Airlines). MKTESPORTIVO noted that Turkish Airlines will be replaced at the end of the season by Qatar Airways as Barcelona's main sponsor. The signing of Messi is a "very intelligent move" by the company as it allows it to indirectly maintain ties to the Barça brand (MKTESPORTIVO, 12/6).
The Qatar Stars League launched a new online ticket service for all QSL matches, according to THE PENINSULA. For the first time in QSL history, fans can buy tickets in advance online, and can "even see the view from their chosen seat before purchasing." Tickets priced at QR10 ($2.75) and QR20 ($5.50) can be purchased online from tickets.qsl.com.qa. Other innovations in ticket sales "will be announced soon, including print-at-home and mobile ticketing, a first for football fans in Qatar" (THE PENINSULA, 11/27).
Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo revealed it has extended its sponsorship of Cristiano Ronaldo through '14. The company will retain the rights to use the image of the Real Madrid striker exclusively in all its new launched products in Portugal. Terms of the new agreement were not disclosed. BES said, "This deal shows a clear support of BES in the Portuguese national team's captain's bid for the best player in the world award." The bank added that Ronaldo was the "Portuguese personality most valued in terms of image and with the most projection internationally" (BES).
The German Field Hockey Federation (DHB) "is looking for a new title sponsor." Hyundai, which has been the federation's title sponsor for eight years, revealed that "it will not extend its sponsorship deal" despite Germany's men's team winning the Gold Medal at the London Games (SID, 12/6). ... La Liga Athletic Bilbao and coffee company Cafés Baqué have agreed to a two-year partnership. The deal will allow the company to "exploit the Athletic brand, exclusively in the coffee sector, and in the production and commercialization of its products" (Athletic Bilbao). ... IMG and Caddiemaster have formed a partnership to develop caddie services in China. The agreement calls for the caddie company to provide caddie training at IMG-managed clubs in China, while IMG will market Caddiemaster and help establish its business throughout the country (IMG).
SETTING SAIL: Online foreign exchange provider Alpari has signed a sponsorship deal with New Zealand's match racing team, BlackMatch Racing. The Alpari companies will support the team as it competes at the Tour's season finale, the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia. The agreement will run until Saturday, the last day of the event (Alpari). ... Mobile media group and app company Bitzio signed a partnership deal with IMX, the joint-venture between EBX Group and IMG Worldwide, through a non-exclusive mobile game rights agreement. Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, IMX, through IMX Talent, represents several major int'l sports and celebrity brands. Bitzio and IMX will jointly develop a mobile game based on IMX content (Bitzio). … Cricket Australia revealed that the Commonwealth Bank has extended its support of cricket by coming on board as an official partner of the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash League (CA). … Abu Dhabi, UAE has agreed to an historic partnership with nine-time World Rally Championship-winning manufacturer, Citroën Racing, to bolster the emirate’s presence in global motorsports. The three-year partnership between Citroën Racing and the newly-created Abu Dhabi Racing will see two full-works manufacturer teams, Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team and the Abu Dhabi Total Citroën World Rally Team, participate in the WRC as of the next season’s opening round in Monte Carlo, running Jan. 18-20 (Citroën Racing).
CYCLING SPONSORS: IMG revealed the top sponsors for the 2013 Tour de Suisse. Swiss search engine search.ch has extended its contract and will sponsor the awards for the leading riders in the points standings again in '13. The race’s cooperation with Swiss pastry & bakery company Roland was also renewed. Roland and search.ch each became the official sponsor of the Tour de Suisse for the first time in '12. The Haribo brand, currently a co-sponsor of the Tour de Suisse, will be put on the fastest sprinter's jersey at next year’s event for the first time. The long-standing collaboration with cheese manufacturer Le Gruyère AOC would continue (Tour de Suisse). ... The World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland has signed a partnership agreement with helmet manufacturer CASCO. Under the agreement with the German company, which runs through '16, the WCC will receive 130 helmets a year for its trainees on the road, track and BMX disciplines (Int'l Cycling Union).