Change is certainly in the air with Formula 1, following a report by Sports Business stating that the series is searching for a new airline sponsor, as a result of a breakdown in talks with current global partner Emirates.
In regard to sports across the globe, Emirates are arguably the most influential airline, with the company having partnerships with Arsenal Football Club, Real Madrid, AC Milan, golf’s DP World Tour, and Formula 1.
According to SportsBusiness, Formula 1 are now searching for a new airline to partner with, after the championship demanded too much money from Emirates, resulting in the airline refusing to sign a contract extension.
The deadline for a deal to be made between the two has supposedly passed, with talks having completely grounded to a half after F1 demanded the airline pays double what they currently are per year, with the airline believed to have paid around $25 million per year in the recent cycle of the partnership from 2018-2022.
With the partnership set to end, it marks a 10-year collaboration between the two, with Emirates having become a global partner of F1 in 2013 and having gone on to have a wide range of branding scattered around the facilities and the hospitality areas at the majority of races.
It will also see an end to Emirates’ F1 exclusives, with the airline having been allowed to offer customers VIP F1 experiences at selected races.
According to reports, Formula 1 is now in advanced talks with another airline to replace Emirates.
So, who might the airline be?
Well, based on the fact that the sport is working ever closer with the United States and companies like Netflix and Disney, an American-based airline would be a safe assumption.
SportBusiness Sponsorship’s latest Motorsport Data Snapshot has revealed that there has been a 21.1-percent increase in American brands agreeing deals with the championship compared to last year, with 161 deals having been done in 2022, compared to 133 in 2021 and 97 in 2020.
It is understood by SportBusiness that if Emirates had agreed to the terms set out by the sport, then they would’ve been granted access to trackside branding at 19 of the 24 races next season; however, the Dubai-based airline clearly don’t see this as a big enough benefit to agreeing to the increased sum.
Whilst an agreement could still be made between the pair, it appears increasingly unlikely, given that the sport have, as mentioned, opened talks with another airline.