The Dubai-based airline Emirates, which describes itself as â€˜a global connector of people and passionsâ€™, and The Football Association (FA), English footballâ€™s governing body, have announced that the airline will become the Lead Partner of the FA Cup, the annual contest the latter runs. From next season till 2018 it will be known as The Emirates FA Cup.
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 will focus on bringing the worldâ€™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: â€œFootball 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.â€
Greg Dyke, Chairman of The FA said: â€œEmiratesâ€™ 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.â€
Next seasonâ€™s FA Cup kicks off onÂ 15th AugustÂ with Extra-Preliminary rounds and culminates in a showpiece final at Wembley onÂ Saturday 21st May 2016.