The Football Association (FA) has announced an extended deal with Emirates for the FA Cup.
As part of the new agreement, the competition will continue to be named The Emirates FA Cup until at least 2021, after The FA and Emirates agreed a three-year contract extension to their existing partnership, which began as title partner in 2015.
Ahead of the semi-finals last April, the airline unveiled an exclusive Emirates FA Cup themed A380, with the logo of the cup on both sides of the double decker aircraft.
The airline also took the Emirates FA Cup trophy on its first-ever trip to Africa with a stop at the airline’s headquarters in Dubai in October 2016. A four-day tour through Ghana and Kenya followed, allowing thousands of football fans in Africa to get a little closer to the competition and give them the opportunity to be photographed with the trophy.
Meanwhile, this season’s Emirates FA Cup campaign began on Friday and saw 737 clubs entering the competition and 185 extra preliminary round ties taking place across the country. Last year’s competition alone hosted over 11,000 players from over 700 teams, playing in matches attended by over 1.8m fans.
Mark Bullingham, The FA’s commercial director, said: “We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with Emirates through to 2021.
“Working alongside such a well-established and iconic global brand has helped us to make the competition more accessible to fans across the world.
“With the support of Emirates, last season’s competition reached over 912m fans worldwide. The partnership will also allow us to continue our investment into the game at all levels.”
Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline, added: "We remain incredibly proud to continue our role as the first ever title sponsor of such a prestigious and historic tournament.
“The spirit of this competition, bringing together both small clubs and Premier League giants alike to face each other before an audience of adoring fans is what drives us to continue our investment in this tournament.
“From our Emirates FA Cup emblazoned A380, to the exciting cup tour of Africa, to our partnership extension, we remain passionately committed to both the sport of football and to the UK. We look forward to the future of our partnership and helping to connect fans across the globe to one of the world’s most celebrated sports.
“We look forward to continuing to work together to ensure the Emirates FA Cup remains the best loved and revered domestic cup competition in the world.”
The competition continues with the preliminary round on the weekend of 19th and 20th August and will culminate at Wembley Stadium connected by EE on Saturday 19th May 2018.
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