Emirates named as new sponsors of The FA Cup

Emirates Airline announced that the airline will become the lead partner of The FA Cup, to be known as The Emirates FA Cup, from next season until 2018.

Nacho Monreal of Arsenal and Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal lift the winners trophy following the 2015 FA Cup Final between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Wembley Stadium. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

The deal secured by the Dubai-based carrier is the latest in a long list of sporting sponsorships. No financial details were discuss but reports suggest it could be worth as much as $46 million. The sponsorship deal was revealed ahead of the latest FA Cup final between Aston Villa and Arsenal.

Emirates is a long-standing supporter of football with partnerships across Europe including AC Milan, Real Madrid, Olympiacos FC, Hamburger SV, Benfica, Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal.

Throughout the next three years, Emirates said it will focus on bringing the world’s most prestigious domestic cup competition closer to its fans from across the nation as well as the rest of the globe.

Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline said: “Football is a truly global sport, a unifying factor in many communities and nations across the world. Never is this more evident than with The FA Cup, which has an unrivalled heritage and draws a global audience of more than 1.1 billion people.

"The spirit of competition, fair play, and sparking the passions of a global audience, are all values we share at Emirates. That is why we are proud to be the first title sponsor of the tournament and we look forward to a long-term partnership to support and connect fans to their teams both here in the UK and across the world.”

Greg Dyke, chairman of The FA, added: “Emirates’ commitment to our sport is evident and securing such an iconic and forward-thinking lead partner for The FA Cup is great news for us, the fans and for the whole game. The partnership will help take the tournament to new audiences, inspire interest in football from across the globe and allow us to continue our investment into the game at all levels.”

Next season’s FA Cup kicks off on August 15 with Extra-Preliminary rounds and culminates in a showpiece final at Wembley on Saturday May 21 2016.

This season has seen one of the great FA Cup campaigns, from Middlesbrough beating Manchester City in the Fourth Round, to Bradford City shocking Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on the same day.

Over 2 million fans have attended an FA Cup game this season with the competition also enjoying a resurgence in popularity amongst domestic and global television audiences.