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Sports Sponsorship by Airline Industry, 2023 Update - Analysing Biggest Brands and Spenders, Venue Rights, Deals, Latest Trends and Case Studies

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  • 40 Pages
  • July 2023
  • Region: Global
  • GlobalData
  • ID: 5733375
An analysis of the global airlines industry and their involvements in sports sponsorship, with a closer look at some of the major deals and active brands.

The airlines sponsorship sector has a total spend of $4.41 billion, and an annual spend of $1 billion respectively across 295 active deals. Emirates Airline, Qatar Airways and NetJets all share the title of being the most active airline brands, with 19 deals apiece. The first two of these aforementioned brands are also the biggest spending airline brands in the sector, with annual spends of $267.7 million and $188.4 million respectively. Delta Airlines are the highest spending airline located outside the Middle East, with its total spend of $100.1 million largely stemming from American sports properties, including venues such as the Yankees Stadium and the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Soccer was the most prominently sponsored sport, with 40.3% of airline deals coming with soccer teams, federations and venues. 53.5% of annual spending within airline sponsorship deals comes within the realm of soccer, which is staggering that the deal volume corresponds to just over 40% of the dataset. Basketball and golf are the next most actively sponsored sports by hotel brands with 30 and 22 deals apiece, at a combined estimated annual spend of $107.3 million.

96 different airline brands have been recorded as having sponsorship agreements in place. 29.5% of the deals contained within this data set stem from airline brands headquartered in the US alone, highlighting the country's strength in this business sector. Comparatively, 29.1% of these deals come from European headquartered brands at an annual spend of $131.4 million, which highlights the vastness of the American airlines sector.

Key Highlights

  • As of 26th June 2023, there are a total of 295 active deals with airline brands, globally, with much of this deal volume being driven by deals within soccer. Specifically driving this are an abundance of deals with teams, with the five highest deal values in this dataset all being part of soccer deals. This includes some of the world's biggest commercial teams including Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Arsenal, as well as deals with federations including UEFA and Ligue 1. The biggest of these deals is between French team PSG and Qatar Airways, which saw the brand become the team's primary shirt sponsor, as well as an official airline partner of the club in a deal worth an estimated $80 million a year.
  • Soccer is the most popular sport for airline brands, with the sport having almost quadruple the number of active deals than that of the next most popular sport, basketball. The annual deal values also massively eclipse those of all other sports, with no other sport eclipsing an annual spend of $100 million, while soccer is comfortably clear of the $500 million mark. This is due to an abundance of major team deals, with three of these deals being worth north of $60 million annually.
  • The five most valuable active deals that the airline sector have are all associated with soccer, with four of these being team deals. This is a surprise given that the highest value deals are often with federations. The highest value of all these deals is between PSG and Qatar Airways, which is unsurprising given that PSG are Qatari-owned and would likely have strong business ties to Qatar itself. As part of the deal, Qatar Airways serves as the team's primary shirt sponsor, as well as Qatar Airways Holidays offering specific travel packages to PSG fans, and Qatar Duty Free serving as the team's official duty free provider.
  • Venue deals are the second highest revenue generator at 22%, despite placing third in terms of deal volume, with 40 active agreements. Contributing to this result is a deal between Allegiant Air and the Las Vegas Raiders, with the brand agreeing to become the team's official airline partner, as well as a naming rights partner for the team's home stadium. The 20-year deal which came into effect in 2020, is worth a reported $20 million a year, and will run until its expiry date in 2040. Other North American venue deals driving value include American Airlines and their deal with the home venue of the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams, where they serve as a founding partner of the stadium, as well as an official airline of both teams. The deal is reported to be worth $9 million a year, and is expected to expire in 2029 after a ten-year duration.

Who Should Buy

  • Investors who are attempting to understand the current dynamics of airline brands and their forays into sports sponsorship.
  • Sports industry professionals who want a detailed analysis on some of the airlines industry and their bigger deals within sports sponsorship.
  • Sports industry workers who want further information as to how the airline sector's involvement in sponsorship has evolved and changed in recent years.


  • This report provides an overview of the airlines sponsorship sector globally, with a focus on specific regions.
  • The report identifies the key airline brands currently operating in the sector, including the most active brands and the ones with the highest spend.
  • A look at which sports are the most frequently sponsored by airline brands, and the benefits they have reaped from these deals.
  • A detailed look at what kinds of partnerships are most prevalent when it comes to airline brands.

Reasons to Buy

  • For those wanting an in depth analysis of how the biggest partnerships active in the sector.
  • Discusses why some brands are more active than others, and how this is affected by the sports that are most popular in their regions.
  • The publisher's thematic research ecosystem is a single, integrated global research platform that provides an easy-to-use framework for tracking all themes across all companies in all sectors. It has a proven track record of identifying the important themes early, enabling companies to make the right investments ahead of the competition, and secure that all-important competitive advantage.

Table of Contents

1. Key Information and Background

2. Market Insights

3. Sector Analysis

4. Case Study

5. Brand Analysis

6. Appendix

Companies Mentioned (Partial List)

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes, but is not limited to:

  • UEFA
  • NBA
  • NFL
  • IOC
  • NHL
  • MLB
  • Emirates Palace
  • Qatar Airways
  • Delta Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • NetJets
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Etihad Airways
  • Allegiant Air
  • Japan Airlines
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Air Canada
  • JetBlue Airways