Emirates Airlines has announced that it is to become the official sponsor of the French Open. The airline will sponsor the tournament, often referred to as the Roland Garros, for the next five years, starting with the 2013 edition of the competition this year.
President of Emirates Airlines Tim Clark announced the news at a press conference with Jean Gachassin, president of the French Federation of Tennis, which was held in Paris this week. “Appropriately named after famed French aviation pioneer and tennis supporter, Roland Garros, this tournament is a natural extension of our existing tennis sponsorship portfolio,” said Mr Clark.
“Watched by millions around the globe this acclaimed clay court championship is the perfect platform with which to align our brand... It is our own appreciation of this sport that has been the catalyst behind our various global tennis sponsorships, including two of the Grand Slam tennis events.”
The new partnership will see Emirates benefit from significant branding at the Philippe-Chatrier Centre Court, as well as advertising panels on the other courts, during the French Open. A private lounge from Emirates’ guests and a meet and greet area named after the airline will also be introduced.
"We are particularly delighted and also proud to welcome an international brand such as Emirates amongst our official partners,” said Mr Gachassin. “The arrival of Emirates fits in perfectly with our development and partnership strategy of aiming to expand our global reach.”
The French Open will start on the 21st May 2013 and last until the 19th June. It is one of the largest tennis events in the world and considered to be the most physically demanding of all the tennis tournaments, due to its famous clay-courts.