Emirates joins forces with Olympique Lyonnais through five-year sponsorship deal

The Dubai-based airline will be the French club's official main sponsor

Emirates will appear on Lyon's shirts from next season. Courtesy Emirates
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Emirates has added yet another top European football club to its list of sporting partnerships.

The Dubai airline has agreed a five-year sponsorship deal with French club Olympique Lyonnais, which will see it become the club's main sponsor from the beginning of the 2020-21 season.

The deal will see Emirates' Fly Better logo appear on the team's matchday and training kits, replacing current sponsor Hyundai, plus visible branding at the club's 59,000 capacity Groupama Stadium.

While the value of the deal was not disclosed, it is a continuation of Emirates' strategy of extending its reach and visibility through elite-level sport.

The airline already has long-standing sponsorship deals with Real Madrid, Arsenal and AC Milan, plus with the likes of Benfica in Portugal, Hamburger SV in Germany and Greek side Olympiacos. Emirates has also been the title partner of English football's FA Cup - the oldest domestic cup competition in the world - since the start of the 2015-16 season.

"With Olympique Lyonnais, we've found a partner that mirrors our Fly Better brand promise of striving to achieve the highest levels of success, and there is already a connection between Lyon and Dubai with Emirates' daily flights between both cities," said Emirates Group chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

"This partnership is more than just a commercial deal, but also reinforces Emirates' investment and economic contribution to both the Lyon region, and France as a whole, a country where we have been present for nearly three decades."

Lyon's Groupama Stadium. Courtesy Emirates

Olympique Lyonnais were founded in 1950 and have won the French league title seven times, with all seven coming consecutively between 2001 and 2008.

The furthest they have reached in the Champions League is the semi-finals, which came in the 2009-2010 season when they were defeated by Bayern Munich. This season they have reached the Round of 16 where they will face Juventus later this month.

They are currently sixth in this season's French Ligue One standings, 25 points behind leaders Paris Saint Germain, and seven points off third place which would ensure qualification for next season's Champions League.

Emirates was the first airline to connect Lyon with the UAE and broader region, launching direct flights in 2012.


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