Portsmouth's Spinnaker Tower reaches new heights with Emirates deal
Global airline Emirates has been announced as the naming rights sponsor of one of Britain's tallest landmarks outside London, Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth.
Emirates will be the first ever sponsor of the tower, which will be rebranded as Emirates Spinnaker Tower from July 2015.
The new agreement, which will span five years and is worth £3.5million, will see Emirates' red branding running up the length and breadth of the Tower. Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline and Leader of Portsmouth City Council and Councillor Donna Jones fittingly announced the new partnership 105 metres in the air.
"As the most prominent landmark in Portsmouth we are honoured to be the inaugural sponsor of Emirates Spinnaker Tower", said Sir Tim Clark. "This sponsorship represents our vested interest in the UK where we currently operate sixteen daily flights and where we are responsible for injecting and stimulating over £2.1 billion into the country's GDP each year.
"Part of the reason that this sponsorship opportunity was so appealing to us is that it will enable the local City Council to reinvest this partnership money into the local community, something that we are proud to be able to support".
Emirates' relationship with the tower is seen by some in Portsmouth as a significant boost for the city: the partnership will also see the Portsmouth promoted to potential visitors across the world through additional Emirates' marketing.
But many others - especially fans of football club Portsmouth FC - are reportedly incensed at plans to dress the tower in the colours of arch rival team Southampton.
Cllr. Donna Jones, Leader of the council, said: "I am delighted we have agreed this partnership. Emirates is one of the most prestigious brands in the world and this association can only benefit Portsmouth.
"With the financial situation the council faces we have to think creatively about how we can achieve the maximum income potential from our assets, and this is just one of several deals we are working on. The money this sponsorship brings in will help reduce the need for cuts to vital services such as social care and those things communities value so much like libraries, community centres and leisure facilities".
Juliana Delaney, Chief Executive of Continuum Attractions, the company which operates the visitor attraction, commented: "I am thrilled to hear of the partnership forged between Portsmouth City Council and Emirates to sponsor the Spinnaker Tower. As operators of this iconic Portsmouth building, Continuum Attractions will continue to strive to deliver the same outstanding level of service for which Emirates is so well regarded.
"Continuum Attractions' past work launching the Emirates Airline Cable Car in London only strengthens the relationship between the two brands in our aim to take all our guests to new heights!"
The Emirates Spinnaker Tower is situated on the waterfront in Portsmouth, 100 kilometres from London Gatwick and London Heathrow, where Emirates operates a total of eight daily flights. Portsmouth is renowned for its rich naval and maritime history, with the Emirates Spinnaker Tower designed to honour this heritage by representing sails billowing in the wind.
The prominent new branding is expected to be in place in time for the arrival of the America's Cup World Series in Portsmouth from 23rd-26th July. Emirates already has close ties with the America's Cup, as sponsor of Emirates Team New Zealand, one of the challengers for the 35th America's Cup.
In addition to the airline's UK-based sport sponsorships, Emirates is also the sponsor of the Emirates Air Line, London's popular cable car across the Thames. In total Emirates invests over £70 million into its various UK sponsorship properties each year.
The UK is Emirates' largest European market with 112 weekly flights spanning the breadth of the country via six gateways including London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Birmingham, Newcastle, Manchester and Glasgow.
Emirates first began flights to the UK when it launched its service to London Gatwick in 1987.
Image credits: Gunwharf Quays and the Spinnaker Tower,in March 2012, by Editor5807 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Entrance to the Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth, by Roger Kidd [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.