With Dubai Uncertainty, Arsenal May Be Happy to Tear Up Emirates Contract
Often, when a sponsor is forced to back out of a contract, lawsuites fly and legal eagles roar. That was before the most recent rash of football/soccer commercialization that includes a $135 mIllion equity investment/shirt sponsorship, £80m shirt deal and £100 million/10 year naming rights pitch. Even the iconic Wembley Stadium may now be up for grabs.
So it is then, that as the prospect of a Dubai World credit crunch looms, the Guardian reports today that the Arsenal would not complain if forced to tear up their 2004 £100 million, 15-year sponsorship deal with Emirates Airline, one of the fastest growing carriers in the world. About £28 million of the deal is still outstanding. The Guardian writes that this may be necessary in order to satisfy Dubai's debt obligations with its neighbor, Abu Dhabi:
It is understood that some of Emirates' business partners would not be averse to a deal nonetheless. Arsenal signed a sponsorship deal worth £90m with Emirates in 2004 and is believed to have received the majority of the airline's investment already, with £28m outstanding. It is understood that Arsenal is aware of more lucrative deals being signed by its Premier League rivals and would not complain if Emirates scrapped a contract that gives the carrier naming rights over Arsenal's stadium until the 2020-21 season and a shirt sponsorship deal until 2013-14.