Emirates has scored a belter by announcing a new sponsorship deal with Italian football giants, AC Milan.

The international airline of the UAE, which has become a global powerhouse for sports sponsorship, revealed the 60 million-plus Euro (AED 300 million) partnership in the presence of superstars Ronaldinho and David Beckham, on loan from LA Galaxy.

“We like to give sports fans something to shout about and this exciting shirt sponsorship deal certainly does that,” said HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group.

Sheikh Ahmed, who was represented at a press conference today in Milan by Boutros Boutros, the airline’s Divisional Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, added: “Once again, Emirates has demonstrated its unstinting support for the world of sports, while extending our relationship with one of the leading iconic football brands. Needless to say, in the current economic climate, our enhanced commitment to the club, Italy and sports fans across the globe takes on an even greater significance.”

emirates-ACMILAN2Emirates first signed a sponsorship agreement with AC Milan in September 2007. The following year, the relationship was elevated to Top Institutional Sponsor. The prestigious shirt sponsor deal, spread over five years, will become visible from the start of the 2010/2011 season.

AC Milan’s Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Adriano Galliani joined Beckham, Boutros, Ronaldinho, Team Captain Massimo Ambrosini and Head Coach Leonardo at the press call at Milanello, AC Milan’s training ground.

Mr Galliani said: “When Emirates became one of our sponsors, the relationship that linked the two companies grew and evolved, thanks to a common vision and common objectives. Today, we have reached the most important target – Emirates has become our shirt sponsor and has positioned its brand on the most successful club in the world. This choice shows that the global values of the AC Milan brand and the quality of our offering keeps on attracting the most dynamic and innovative international companies.”

The AC Milan squad, brimming with superstar players, has made a number of training visits to Emirates’ home of Dubai, escaping the chill of the European winter to enjoy the airline’s superb on the ground and in-flight service, along with the warmth of the UAE.

Other teams sponsored by the carrier include Paris Saint Germain Football Club in France, Hamburger SV in Germany, Olympiacos FC in Greece, and of course Arsenal in the UK.

The 2004 Arsenal agreement was the biggest club sponsorship deal in English football history. Emirates has become the first airline to reach Official Partner status for the FIFA World Cup™

The highly decorated carrier, just 25 years old, flies to more than 100 destinations across six continents including Milan, Rome and Venice in Italy. Tokyo, Amsterdam, Prague and Madrid have been announced as new routes for 2010, supported by a growing fleet of wide-bodied aircraft.