AC Milan will head out to Dubai this month having strengthened its links with the UAE by signing a new five-year shirt deal with Emirates Airline.
The Italian giants, who face European champions Real Madrid on December 30 at The Sevens in the Dubai Football Challenge, yesterday extended their agreement, reportedly worth around $85 million (Dh388m), until the 2019/20 season.
And Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline, said it would also be interested in naming rights of a new stadium Milan are looking to build in the Rho area as they plan to move out of the city-run San Siro it currently shares with rivals Internazionale.
“We’ve already done it with Arsenal and it’s been a great success,” said Clark. “If there will be an auction, Emirates will participate.”
Barbara Berlusconi, general manager and vice-president of AC Milan, added: “We love the San Siro, but football is evolving and changing rapidly. We hope to announce something in this direction in the near future.
“It is something very important for Milan and the whole of Italy, which is why we want to move on with this project.
“When we’re ready, Emirates are the first people we will present the project to. It would be a dream to collaborate with them on this project.”
Despite the recent announcement that it had ended its association with FIFA and as a World Cup partner, Emirates has maintained its strong presence within European football following this move.
It also has high-profile sponsorship agreements with Madrid, Premier League's Arsenal and French champions Paris Saint-Germain.
As part of the new partnership with Milan, there will be Emirates branding on playing and training kits and within the San Siro, sponsorship of the youth team as well as a number of marketing rights.
The signing also co-incided with the airline’s new A380 service to Milan and Clark added: “It’s a double celebration for Emirates as we deepen our relationship with this great city, heralding two iconic moments, the renewal of our AC Milan sponsorship and introduction of our dedicated A380 service to Milan.
“Milan are known everywhere. We know there are Milan fans in every corner of the globe, all going around in Milan shirts. This could be the beginning of something even bigger.”
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