Sport | Motorsport

Emirates airline flies into Formula One paddock

Five-year agreement as global partner to begin in Malaysia this season

  • By Alaric Gomes, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 20:27 February 5, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
  • Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, and Bernie Ecclestone, Chief Executive Officer of the Formula One group, after signing a five-year sponsorship agreement.

Dubai: Emirates airline and Formula One have signed up a multi-million dollar five-year agreement, which sees Emirates being appointed as Global Partner of Formula 1 starting with the 2013 season.

The announcement was made by Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, and Bernie Ecclestone, Chief Executive Officer of the Formula One group, at Emirates headquarters on Tuesday.

As per the agreement, Emirates will have a strong branding presence at all but four races on the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship calendar on five continents.

The four races exempted from this partnership are: Melbourne, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Monaco due to the pre-existing title-sponsorship commitments.

Starting with the second race on the calendar in Malaysia on March 22-24, the Fly Emirates branding will be seen at all F1 venues, including the historic circuits like Silverstone (UK), Monza (Italy) and Interlagos (Sao Paolo, Brazil).

Big step

“Emirates has taken a truly big step with this announcement and we will now have an even better presence across all the continents,” Shaikh Ahmad said. “My message to Formula One fans is ‘Fasten your seat belts so that we can all share the passion for Formula One’.”

Emirates has been at the forefront of sports partnerships worldwide, and with this deal its portfolio touches Dh1 billion, including its recent announcements of renewing a multi-year sponsorship deal with Arsenal FC, a partner of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and as Official Airline of ATP World Tour.

“This new partnership will truly become one of our main associations with a truly global reach. Emirates has embarked on a new platform to connect people, and I cannot wait for the season to start,” he said.

Ecclestone, who will turn 83 in October, was pleased with what the association between Emirates and Formula One will bring to the table. “Emirates has a first-class international reputation and I’m very pleased to welcome such a prestigious company as a global partner of Formula One,” he said.

Both, Shaikh Ahmad and Ecclestone refrained from putting a figure on the value of the deal.

“Gentlemen never speak about last night and money,” Ecclestone chipped in coyly.

“At Formula One we like to be associated with top corporates from across the world. And I am convinced that the F1 teams will benefit for sure.”

Gulf News
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