- Qatar Airways takes over inventory from Accor to become principal partner
- Airline upgrade from previous ‘€5m to 10m year’ agreement
- Deal covers PSG men’s, women’s and youth teams
French soccer champions Paris Saint-Germain have unveiled Qatar Airways as their new front-of-shirt sponsor in a multi-year agreement.
The Qatari state-backed airline has been a premium partner of the Ligue 1 club since 2020, reportedly paying between €5 million (US$5.2 million) and €10 million (US$10.4 million) per year. The upgraded deal covers PSG’s men’s, women’s and youth teams.
The tie-up also includes Qatar Airways Holidays offering official fan travel packages to Paris, as well as Doha’s Hamad International Airport (HIA) and Qatar Duty Free (QDF) becoming the official airport and official duty free respectively of PSG.
The airline’s visibility will be stepped up in the Parc des Princes stadium with additional LED exposure and upgraded VIP hospitality experiences. PSG and Qatar Airways are also promising more innovative content offerings to engage fans worldwide.
The value of the deal has not been disclosed. PSG’s preceding front-of-shirt sponsorship with Accor was reportedly worth between approximately €60 million (US$62.7 million) and €70 million (US$72.1 million) per year, with SportBusiness reporting the agreement with the Qatari flag carrier is in the same bracket. The multinational hotel chain had been PSG’s shirt sponsor since the 2019/20 season.
Qatar Airways has previously sponsored the shirts of Spanish giants Barcelona and Italian outfit AS Roma. The airline also has deals covering the 2022 Fifa World Cup and with German champions Bayern Munich, much to the disdain of their fans.
“We are delighted to see Qatar Airways step up their commitment to the Paris Saint-Germain family,” said Marc Armstrong, chief partnerships officer of Paris Saint-Germain.
“Qatar Airways are extremely involved in sport. It is an ambitious airline, one of the most acclaimed in the world and by featuring on the rouge and bleu jersey, Qatar Airways will increase their global visibility and integration into football just a few months before the World Cup starts in Qatar and way beyond it too.”
Thierry Antinori, Qatar Airways’ chief commercial officer, added: “Our connection with the club has gone from strength to strength, and the new season will feature Qatar Airways on the front of the club’s kits; one of football’s most recognised jerseys.
“Similar to Qatar Airways, the club has big ambitions in football, and we look forward to being a part of their success in the coming years.”
The ties between soccer clubs and states continue to deepen. PSG have been owned by Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), a subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) sovereign wealth fund, since 2011. A new pact with Qatar Airways felt almost inescapable.
In the same week, we’ve seen Premier League side Newcastle United announce Noon as their sleeve partner. The ecommerce platform is part-owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), the Magpies’ majority shareholder. Then there is Abu Dhabi United Group-owned Manchester City’s lucrative partnership with Etihad Airways. In 2020, the club denied the airline’s sponsorship was ‘covered’ by the Abu Dhabi government.
Couple all that with concerns over human rights issues in those three countries and this continues to be a decidedly murky situation.