Emirates Airline and the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) announced a new sponsorship agreement that will see the two organisations working closely together to grow the Emirates Melbourne Cup’s international profile.

The contract, which was signed in Emirates’ hub of Dubai, extends the partnership for an additional five years and includes increased commitments from Emirates to assist with promoting the event internationally.

The race that stops a nation™, one of Australia’s most valuable sponsorship properties, will continue to be known as the Emirates Melbourne Cup until at least 2015.

As the Principle Partner of the VRC, Emirates will have the naming rights sponsorship of Emirates Melbourne Cup Day – headlined by the richest handicap race in the world, the US$6.18 million Emirates Melbourne Cup – and Emirates Stakes Day through to the end of the 2015 Melbourne Cup Carnival.

“Emirates looks forward to growing our long-standing partnership with the Melbourne Cup Carnival and the Victoria Racing Club in a way that we hope will benefit the people of Victoria and Australia’s racing community,” said Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline.

“Emirates is deeply committed to supporting the sport of horse racing both in Australia and internationally, demonstrated by our partnerships with many elite racing clubs and marquee races around the globe,” added Clark.

In 2010, a record eight international horses competed for the US$6.18 million on offer in the Emirates Melbourne Cup, which was won by an American-bred, French-trained, Australian-owned horse ridden by a Hong Kong-based, French jockey.

Away from the track, dignitaries from 28 countries attended the 2010 Melbourne Cup Carnival, including His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group. A record 51 international media outlets were represented at the 2010 Carnival and more than 5,000 overseas visitors converged on Flemington on Emirates Melbourne Cup Day for the 150th running of Australia’s greatest race.

Emirates first became a sponsor of the Melbourne Cup Carnival in 1997, extending their agreement as the naming rights sponsor of Emirates Stakes Day – the fastest growing raceday – in 1998. In 2004, Emirates was named the Principle Partner of the VRC and the naming rights sponsor of the Emirates Melbourne Cup, the lynchpin of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

The new agreement will signify an 18-year strong relationship between the brands.