x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Emirates shoots for extended PSG sponsorship after Beckham signing

The Dubai airline has agreed in principle to extend its deal with Paris Saint-Germain, following news that David Beckham is to play for the French football club.

Paris Saint-Germain signed up David Beckham following the star's departure from the US team Los Angeles Galaxy. AFP PHOTO / Franck Fife
Paris Saint-Germain signed up David Beckham following the star's departure from the US team Los Angeles Galaxy. AFP PHOTO / Franck Fife

Emirates Airline has agreed in principle a five-year extension to a shirt-sponsorship deal with the French football club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

The move follows news that the French team has signed up football star David Beckham for the final five months of the Ligue 1 season.

Boutros Boutros, the Emirates senior vice president, said on Friday the sponsorship contract should be completed this month.

"We have a new contract for a new period for the coming five years. It's just with the lawyers," Mr Boutros told Associated Press. "The principle has already been approved by our senior management and by the club itself."

Mr Boutros declined to disclose the amount of the proposed extension to the deal, which begins with the 2014-15 season.

The deal is thought to be less than the deal Emirates entered with the English Premier League club Arsenal, which Emirates extended through the 2018-2019 season for US$237 million (Dh870.5m).

Representatives of Emirates were not immediately available for comment.

PSG has sported the name of Emirates since 2006, and the current deal runs at about $5.5m until 2014, according to news reports.

PSG's Qatari owners were reportedly in sponsorship talks with an unidentified Qatari bank, but Mr Boutros told AP the club "never went to see another company".

The current owner of PSG, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, bought the club in 2011.

In the 2011-2012 financial year, net profit for the Emirates Group was $629m, a decline of 61 per cent over the previous year. The group attributed this to high fuel costs.

Football accounts for the highest number of sponsorships among all other sports that the airline champions. The company, which started sponsoring sporting events in 1987 with a powerboat race in Dubai, has tie-ups with the world football association Fifa and several European clubs. These include Arsenal, AC Milan, PSG, Real Madrid and the Greek club Olympiakos.

business@thenational.ae

* With AP