Dubai’s Emirates airline confirms FA Cup sponsorship talks
English football tournament would reportedly be renamed the ‘Emirates FA Cup’ if $46m agreement goes ahead
The Dubai airline Emirates has confirmed it is in talks to sponsor the FA Cup, following reports it is close to clinching a $46 million deal that would see the English football tournament renamed.
The FA Cup – which was first held in 1871 – has been without a sponsor for a year after Budweiser declined to renew its deal.
Boutros Boutros, the divisional senior vice president of corporate communications, marketing and brand at Emirates, told Al Arabiya News that talks had been held with the English Football Association (FA) over a potential sponsorship.
“Emirates confirms that we are in talks with the FA, but we haven't finalized the details," he said.
The oldest association football competition in the world would be rebranded the 'Emirates FA Cup' if the talks are successful, The Guardian reported.
Other UK newspapers reported that the deal would span three years and be worth $46m - although Mr Boutros said such claims were "not true".
The FA did not specifically confirm talks with Emirates, but said discussions were ongoing with several potential sponsors. “We remain in discussions with a number of parties regarding FA Cup partner opportunities,” a spokesperson told Al Arabiya News.
Emirates is one of the world's largest sponsors of sporting competitions, with its logo appearing at events ranging from the US Open to Formula 1.
It is also the main sponsor of Arsenal Football Club, which won the FA Cup in 2014, and its London ground.
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