2010 FA Cup banner, Wembley Stadium
"The Emirates FA Cup" title sponsorship deal confirmed by The FA
The controversial re-naming of the FA Cup competition has been confirmed by an announcement on the FA website this afternoon.
Emirates will become lead partner of the FA Cup in a three year deal rumoured to be worth around £30m.
The airline will take the place of the competition's previous sponsor, Budweiser, who are thought to have paid some £9m annually, in another three year deal for a competition known as "The FA Cup, in association with Budweiser". Budweiser will continue in partnership with the FA for the next three years, as Official Beer Partner of the FA Cup.
The announcement was made shortly before the kick-off of the 2015 FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, between Aston Villa and Arsenal.
The FA Cup competition involves some 700 clubs and is one of ten events specially reserved for live broadcast on UK terrestrial TV under the Ofcom Code on Sports and Other Listed and Designated Events.
Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, underlined thre global appeal of the competition, which draws an audience estimated to be in the region of of 1.1 billion.
The 2015/16 competition will kick off on 15th August, culminating in a showpiece final at Wembley on Saturday, 21st May 2016.
Image credit: by Glenn Merrett (originally posted to Flickr as IMG_7071) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons