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Emirates Signs £150 Mln Sponsorship With Arsenal

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Dubai airline Emirates and English Premier League soccer club Arsenal have agreed a new GBP£150 million (USD$239 million) sponsorship deal.

The enhanced agreement strengthens existing ties between the north London club and the airline.

A five-year extension of shirt sponsorship will run until the end of the 2018-19 season. Arsenal's 60,000-seat stadium will also continue to be known as the Emirates Stadium until 2028, the club said on Friday.

Emirates have had their name on Arsenal's red and white shirts since they moved to their new stadium in 2006.

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis said the additional investment would help the team to compete with the best in England and in continental Europe.

"We think this is a terrific deal which gives us great value for all the rights included in it," Gazidis told reporters, adding it would make Arsenal one of the top five clubs globally in terms of revenue.

"We think that gives us a platform to be able to reinvest in the team and push the team forward," he added.

MAJOR SPONSORS

Emirates also sponsors shirts at AC Milan and Paris St Germain and are one of a number of Middle Eastern carriers to back major European soccer clubs.

Emirates was close to agreeing an extension with the Paris club despite recent reports that it would switch to a Qatari financial institution, said Boutros Boutros, Emirates' senior vice-president, corporate communication.

Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways sponsors English champions Manchester City, while Barcelona will have the Qatar Airways name on their shirts for next season after long avoiding corporate branding.

(Reuters)

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