Emirates Airline to Sponsor Two Breeders' Cup Races

The Breeders' Cup announced a major sponsorship deal Wednesday, with Emirates Airline stepping forward to become the first company to lend its name to two of the eight World Thoroughbred Championship events.

The multi-year arrangement includes title sponsorship of two of the three races restricted to females. This year, the $2-million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff and $1-million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf will join the roster of sponsored races.

The other race for females is the Juvenile Fillies.

All of the Breeders' Cup races are grade I events. This year's Breeders' Cup will be held Oct. 29 at Belmont Park in New York.

Other name-in-title Breeders' Cup race sponsors are Dodge for the $4-million Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge and Classic Division – Powered by Dodge; John Deere for the $2-million John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf and John Deere Turf Division; NetJets for the $1.5-million NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile and the NetJets Mile Division; Bessemer Trust for the $1.5-million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile and Bessemer Trust Juvenile Division; and TVG for the $1-million TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint and the TVG Sprint Division.

Under the agreement, Emirates will not only title the two races, but will also title the Emirates Airline Distaff and Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf Divisions.

Emirates other sponsorships include the largest sponsorship agreement in the history of English football with premiership club Arsenal, which includes naming rights for Arsenal's new 67,000-seat stadium, the Emirates Stadium.

"We are delighted with the unprecedented commitment by Emirates for both the Distaff and the Filly and Mare Turf," said D.G. Van Clief, Jr., president of Breeders' Cup Ltd., and NTRA Commissioner, in a release. "The Emirates sponsorship expands our international affiliation with the corporate world. As a global leader in Thoroughbred racing and sports sponsorship, we are confident that Emirates Airline will provide an expanded platform for building worldwide interest in the Breeders' Cup."

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Emirates' executive vice president commercial operations worldwide, said of the arrangement: "For Emirates, sponsorship is an important means of reaching out to our passengers worldwide, through sharing and supporting their interests. Emirates' groundbreaking sponsorship of two Breeders' Cup races and divisions is a perfect fit for our ongoing sponsorship portfolio of international horse racing. Adding the Breeders' Cup to a list that includes the Dubai World Cup and the Emirates Melbourne Cup shows Emirates' commitment to supporting the very best horse racing around the world."

Emirates Airline will receive signage and hospitality at major races around the country that are part of the two divisions.

Emirates Airline will also sponsor NTRA Super Saturdays, the four-show series on ABC and ESPN that returns for a second season June 18. These telecasts, all two hours in length, will present 16 live races as well as a recap of the Royal Ascot meeting in England. The shows will be aired in June, July, August, and October.

Emirates Airline is based in Dubai, the country ruled by the Maktoum family, which is heavily involved in Thoroughbred racing and breeding.