Qatar Airways has a new sports team under its wing. During the Dubai Airshow, the national carrier of the State of Qatar welcomed top-tier Italian football team FC Internazionale Milano (better known simply as Inter Milan) to its sports sponsorship portfolio. This is the airline’s second football team partner.
Signing Inter Milan
On November 15, Qatar Airways Group’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Badr Al Meer, joined hands with Inter’s executive team as the new Official Global Airline Partner of the club. This multi-year agreement will incorporate branding, hospitality, marketing rights, and tailored travel solutions for all Inter fans, said the company in a statement.
Inter Milan will also see other extended rights, which include Hamad International Airport as the ‘Official Airport’ and Qatar Duty-Free as the ‘Official Duty-Free,’ among other benefits. Badr Al Meer said in a statement,
“Qatar Airways’ relationship with Milan goes back to 2002 when we announced Milan as our first service city in Italy from Doha. Partnering with the football sensation, Inter brings our relationship full circle with this vibrant city.”
He added that Italy is one of Qatar Airway’s most important markets, and this partnership will deepen the relationship with Milan and across Europe and Asia since Inter Milan is quite popular worldwide. Inter Milan has won the Champions League three times (1964, 1965, and 2010) and is one of the winningest teams in Italy.
Qatar Airways currently operates 39 weekly flights to Italy, serving Rome Fiumicino (FCO, 18 times a week) and Milan Malpensa (MXP, 21 times a week). From January 2024, flights to Rome will also increase from one to three daily flights.
Alessandro Antonello, FC Internazionale Milano CEO Corporate, added,
“This agreement confirms the ever-growing appeal of our brand, which is now linked to one of the leading airlines in the world that shares our unwavering commitment to forge connections between places and people the world over.”
Qatar Airways sports endorsements
Many carriers globally support and endorse sports teams. It is a proven partnership that delivers quality and a worldwide presence. Examples include Emirates’ partnership with the Arsenal Football Club or Etihad Airways with Manchester City in the United Kingdom. Qatar Airways is a former sponsor of Barcelona FC. This was the case until 2017.
The Qatari carrier says on its website it is committed to supporting sport, CSR, the arts, and various initiatives around the globe, fostering loyal customer relationships and global brand awareness.
Qatar Airways sponsors the Brooklyn Nets, an NBA team based in New York; the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Football Association (Concacaf); the Formula 1; the GKA Kite World Tour; the IRONMAN triathlon event; the MotoGP Grand Prix of Qatar; the Paris Saint-Germain football team; the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club; the Qatar Squash Federation; the Qatar Tennis Federation Tournaments; the Royal Challengers Bangalore; the rugby team Sydney Swans; and the United Rugby Championship.