DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Emirates airlines announced a five-year sponsorship deal with Formula One on Tuesday in the latest sign of the growing influence of the oil-rich, Gulf nations on the sport.
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone says the Dubai-based airline's sponsorship deal includes 15 races this season starting in Malaysia. It will not sponsor the Australian, Monaco, Bahrain or Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Ecclestone did not disclose the value of the sponsorship deal.
The deal is part of Emirates efforts to spread its reach globally and is just the latest sponsorship deal involving a major sport. It already is an official partner with FIFA and recently signed a five-year deal with the ATP which begins this year. It also comes days after new five-year shirt sponsorship deal with Paris Saint-Germain, the big-spending French soccer team that signed David Beckham.