indian-wells-tennisA new service champion will be wowing the crowds at Indian Wells this year after Emirates, the award-winning airline of the United Arab Emirates, announced its sponsorship of the BNP Paribas Open in California.

The three-year partnership sees Emirates become the official airline of the prestigious competition, which is the most highly attended tennis tournament in the world outside of the four Grand Slams.

“Our sponsorship of the BNP Paribas Open underlines Emirates’ commitment to sport in the United States,” said Nigel Page, Emirates’ senior vice president, commercial operations, Americas & Africa.

“We have been a sponsor of major sporting events for more than 20 years and believe they provide a great platform to connect with our customers. We look forward to building a lasting partnership with this first class event.”

Steve Simon, tournament director, added: “The BNP Paribas Open is very pleased to begin this partnership with Emirates. They are a marquee brand looking to leverage their sponsorship by engaging fans throughout the entire event, which is something we are always looking for in a sponsor. We are excited to work with them in continuing to enhance the fan experience at our tournament.”

Emirates airline will serve up a volley of exciting initiatives during this year’s championship, which takes place at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden from March 8-21, 2010.

The first Saturday of the competition has been officially designated as ‘Emirates Day,’ and the airline will also be running a series of exciting promotions throughout the fortnight, offering spectators additional opportunities for prizes and giveaways.

In addition, Emirates will quite literally be calling the shots on the court throughout the competition, as all Hawkeye line challenges during television broadcasts will be renamed the ‘Emirates Line Challenge.’

“Just like the world’s top tennis professionals, when it comes to delivering great service, Emirates never takes its eye off the ball – making us the perfect partner for this important event,” added Nigel Page.

Emirates’ sponsorship of the BNP Paribas Open is the airline’s third major sports sponsorship in the United States. The carrier is already the Official Airline of the USA Rugby National Sevens Teams and a Premier Partner of the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup.Emirates is also a strong support of tennis worldwide, sponsoring the Rogers Cup in Toronto as well as the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Emirates airline currently flies daily from Dubai to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston and twice daily to New York .

For more information about the BNP Paribas Open, or to purchase tickets and travel packages, visit www.bnpparibasopen.org

For more information about flights to any of Emirates’ destinations in the United States, visit www.emirates.com