AC Milan, the Italian soccer giants, have today (December 15) announced a renewed shirt sponsorship agreement with long-standing partner Emirates, the Dubai-based airline.

Emirates will continue to serve as the Serie A club’s principal partner and official airline partner and prolong a relationship that has spanned over 15 years.   

The Emirates ‘Fly Better’ logo will retain its presence on the front of the kits for the club’s senior men's team, youth teams, and academy.

In addition to the shirt sponsorship, the agreement will also continue to include Emirates branding across San Siro Stadium, as well as hospitality, ticketing, and other marketing rights.

The existing three-year agreement between the two parties, an extension signed in 2020, was due to run until the end of this season.

That renewal was agreed on reduced terms and was worth around €12 million (then $14.1 million) per season, less than the €14 million annual figure in the previous contract. 

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The new deal is understood to be worth more than double with Italian outlet Calcio e Finanza reporting that it will be valued at around €30 million ($31.6 million) per season.

Emirates first became a partner of Milan in 2007 before upgrading that relationship to become the club’s front-of-shirt sponsor in the 2010-11 season.

In addition to the extended partnership, Milan will open an office in Dubai to strengthen their presence in the Middle East.

The Serie A champions claim they will become the first-ever soccer club to open an office in the city, which will serve as a base for the team to “further develop its commercial and communication strategy in the Middle East.”

Casper Stylsvig, chief revenue officer of AC Milan, said: “We are truly proud to extend our partnership with Emirates and to continue to build upon our relationship. With this new deal, AC Milan and Emirates will be side by side for almost two decades, a testament to the strength and depth of our unique relationship.”

Tim Clark, Emirates Arline president, added: “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with AC Milan, and we look forward to more opportunities to engage with one of the most passionate fan bases in the world.

“We’ve been a committed supporter of the club for over 15 years, and as we enter the next phase of our relationship, we’re working closely with AC Milan on innovative opportunities to showcase the best of each of our brands.”  

Emirates also recently extended its long-standing shirt sponsorship deal with Real Madrid for another four seasons through 2025-26.

The airline has front-of-shirt agreements with several other major soccer clubs across Europe including England’s Arsenal, France’s Lyon, and Portugal’s Benfica. 

Meanwhile, Real Madrid have agreed a new partnership with Oura, the health technology company.

Under the deal, the Finland-based firm will provide its Oura Ring technology and health management services to the LaLiga team.

Real Madrid players will be equipped with an Oura Ring for performance optimization and sleep monitoring for the start of the second part of the 2022-23 season following the conclusion of the World Cup.

Oura will deliver personalized health insights to players automatically through the Oura app.

Elsewhere, Barcelona have expanded their partnership with plant-based food company Heura Foods.

The Barcelona-based company will serve as a sponsor of the Barca Innovation Hub (BIHUB), the club’s sports research, knowledge, and innovation platform.

Through the extended tie-up, Heura Foods has become the official plant-based protein partner of BIHUB, and both parties will be working together “to generate added value in the field of sports development and performance through nutrition.”

In August, Heura Foods, was named as the new main partner of Barcelona Femeni, the club’s women’s side, in a three-year deal. 

In other developments, Manchester City, of England’s Premier League, have partnered with Ballers Brands, the wine and spirits company.

Through the partnership, Ballers Champagne, the company’s premium champagne brand, has been unveiled as the official champagne local partner of the club.

Alongside supplying VIPs and guests in the stadium’s premium hospitality areas, Ballers Champagne will also host the Ballers Champagne Platinum Hospitality Box.

The move will also see Ballers Champagne launch an exclusive limited-edition range of co-branded Manchester City bottles.

The Premier League champions this week also announced it is undertaking feasibility studies to potentially increase the capacity of the Etihad Stadium.

The main aspect of the feasibility studies will explore an expanded north stand, which could increase capacity of the stadium to over 60,000.

Alongside this, the study is assessing the feasibility of an expanded and covered ‘City Square’ fan zone with food and drink outlets, a new club shop and museum, workspace, and an onsite hotel.

Man City are keen to identify opportunities to introduce new entertainment experiences – both on matchday and non-matchday.

Fans and the local community will be invited to share their priorities and feedback on concepts in early 2023.