Emirates, a connector of people and their passions, and Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Benfica), Portugal’s most successful football club, have signed a three-year agreement. Emirates is now the Official Airline Partner of the club until 2016.
The deal comes just two years after Emirates began flights to Portugal, and highlights the airline’s on-going commitment to expand its presence in the country. Lisbon joined the Emirates network in July 2012.
The announcement was unveiled by Hubert Frach, Emirates' Divisional Senior Vice President Commercial Operations West, and CEO of Benfica, Domingos Soares de Oliveira, during a press conference held in Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica.
Hubert Frach said: “We see our partnership with Benfica as an opportunity to connect with football fans in Portugal as well as the 14 million fans of the club spread across the world. Benefica has a growing international reputation as one of the most successful clubs in European football history, and fits in perfectly with our own rapidly expanding worldwide network.”
Domingos Soares de Oliveira said: “This represents a new milestone for Sport Lisboa e Benfica because we celebrate new relationship with Emirates that allows us to partner with one of the most innovative brands in the world. Together, we share the same passion for what we do and I am confident that this partnership with Emirates will help us further connect with all of our passionate supporters around the globe.”
The sponsorship deal gives Emirates brand visibility at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, as well as promotional rights. Emirates will also be able to capitalize on advertising opportunities on Benfica’s media platforms, which will include digital activations. The airline will also receive player access and interactive hospitality rights.
Benfica is one of the most successful clubs in the world, having conquered several domestic titles, and is the only club to have won all Portuguese competitions. Internationally, Benfica holds two European Champion Club Cups.
Emirates’ Boeing 777-300 flies daily to Lisbon. The Emirates Benfica sponsorship is yet another example of significant investment in Portugal. The airline has carried over 330,000 passengers in the last two years, fostering trade and tourism connections between the UAE, Portugal and beyond. In 2013, trade volumes between the two countries surged 23% to €4.8 billion with Portugal's exports accounting for almost €1.5 billion.
Benfica will play a key role in Emirates’ sponsorship portfolio made of top sporting clubs, tournaments and high profile cultural events worldwide.
Emirates’ football sponsorship portfolio includes: FIFA, Arsenal FC, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Paris Saint Germain (PSG), Hamburger SV, Olympiacos FC, Arsenal Soccer Schools Dubai, The Emirates Cup and the Saudi Professional League.
Emirates is also the Official Airline and Partner of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the governing body of Asian football, and has sponsorship rights to all its tournaments, including the AFC Champions League, AFC Cup and the AFC Challenge Cup, as well as a number of women’s and youth events.
Emirates is also sponsoring the Portugal Masters golf tournament this year, which forms part of the 48 tournament series on the European Tour schedule, called the The Race to Dubai. The tournament lays the groundwork to the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
Emirates operates four scheduled flights each week between Larnaka and Dubai: every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. On these days in the morning, EK107 arrives from Dubai while in the afternoon EK108 arrives from Malta on its flight back to Dubai. From 1st August the airline will add three more flights a week and will be operating a daily scheduled flight between Dubai and Cyprus and onwards to Malta.
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