Emirates has today announced its first sponsorship in Ireland by becoming the Official Airline of the Irish Open. The 2012 Irish Open, which takes place at the Royal Portrush Golf Club from 28th June – 1st July, is one of the premier events on the European Tour calendar.
The tournament is set to feature home-grown favourites and major champions Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke along with three-time Major Championship winner Padraig Harrington and an array of the world’s finest golfers. The three-year sponsorship deal is a further demonstration of Emirates’ commitment to Ireland, following the successful launch of its daily Dublin – Dubai service on 9th January 2012.
“We have entered into another major sponsorship, supporting sport in Ireland and connecting with golf enthusiasts around the world,” said Salem Obaidalla, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Europe & Russian Federation. “Irish golfers have never had a higher profile, with no fewer than nine current tournament winners active on the European Tour.”
“Emirates is a world-class partner that brings added global exposure and prestige to the Irish Open,” said James Finnigan of The European Tour and the Commercial Director of the Irish Open. “This event has massive appeal, attracting audiences from all over the world, so it’s appropriate that a like-minded sponsor with an extensive global reach and a strong foothold in golf is on-board.”
The agreement with The Irish Open includes course branding, tournament hospitality, advertising, on-site activity including an exhibition unit and team participation in the Tournament Pro-Am.
In addition to the Irish Open, Emirates is supporting 14 further golf events in 2012 as Official Airline, of which seven are tournaments on the European Tour International Schedule.
Emirates has a number of prominent sponsorships familiar to Irish fans, including Official Carrier status at the Dubai World Cup, where Irish horses, trainers and jockeys have excelled in recent years, while its sponsorship of Arsenal remains hugely popular in Ireland since the heydays of Liam Brady and Frank Stapleton.