Riyadh Air – Saudi Arabia’s newest airline – has signed up as shirt sponsor of Spanish football giants Atletico Madrid.
The deal with Atlético – traditionally seen as Spain’s 3rd biggest football club, behind city rivals Real Madrid and FC Barcelona – marks Riyadh Air’s first major sponsorship deal and comes just 5 months after news of the carrier’s launch.
Headed up by former Emirates CEO Tony Douglas, Riyadh Air is fully owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF).
PIF is no stranger to sporting deals; owning more than 90% of the LIV Golf tour and 80% of Newcastle United.
Saudi Arabia’s intention for Riyadh Air – despite it also owning Saudia, formerly Saudi Arabian Airlines – is for it to be the dominant carrier in the Middle East; eclipsing the likes of Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways in annual revenue terms.
Riyadh Air aims to be travelling to more than 100 destinations within the next 7 years.
The deal follows on from Oman Air recently signing a sponsorship deal with Chelsea.