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AFL’s Collingwood soars with Emirates renewal

AFL Australian rules football team Collingwood has agreed an extended five-year jersey sponsorship deal with Dubai-based airline Emirates.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, the deal will provide an estimated A$10m (€6.5m/$9.1m) across the term of the contract and take Collingwood’s combined sponsorship and merchandise revenue for the 2014 season above A$20m.

The deal extends Emirates’ association with Collingwood to 20 years after it became the first major sponsor to be brought on board by club president Eddie McGuire in 1999. Collingwood was Emirates’ first major sport sponsorship in Australia and it will now be associated with the club until 2019.

Lengthy negotiations over the renewed agreement were brokered by Emirates’ global head of marketing and sponsorship Roger Duthie, and he told the Morning Herald: “At the end of the day, Australian rules football is a niche sport for us, it is not global, but we recognise the fact that this is our longest sporting partnership anywhere in the world.

“When we needed a deal all those years ago, when we got into bed with Collingwood, the deal was there to get a job-specific job done for us. That was create awareness for our brand. That job has been done. Now we want to show the fans and the club that this is a partnership. That’s why we re-signed. We weren’t going to say, ‘thank you very much, now we’re out of here’. This deal is about giving back to the club for the next five years.''

Collingwood’s portfolio of premier partners includes CGU, Westpac and Star Athletic, as well as platinum partner Holden.