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Qatar Airways agrees to sponsor Philippines Football League

His Excellency, Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive Qatar Airways (foreground) in February 2018 at a media event in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images for Qatar Airways)

Qatar Airways has agreed a three-year deal to become the Official Airline Partner of the Philippines Football League.

Activation will include the airline’s logo featuring on all PFL club and officials’ shirts, and branding on perimeter board advertising, stadium flags, stadium LED screens and around online content. The deal runs until 2022.

In a press release announcing the deal, Qatar Airways group chief executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways has strong ties with the Philippines, operating 26 weekly passenger services to Manila, Clark and Davao from Doha. This partnership demonstrates our long term commitment to further growing and developing our operations in the Philippines.”

He said the partnership would “see Qatar Airways increase its exposure in the Philippines whilst supporting the development of football in the country. We are continually striving to boost our global sporting sponsorship portfolio, and this partnership is just one more example of our dedication to sport and our belief in its power to bring people together.”

The deal has been announced just before the Philippines Football Federation, which sanctions the league, holds its presidential election at its congress on November 28. Mariano ‘Nonong’ Araneta is seeking re-election, for a third term. He is expected to be challenged by Ricky Yamson, head of the regional Negros Occidental Football Association. Last month, Araneta referred to the Qatar Airways deal, saying it would free up funding to support youth development programmes.

Welcoming the new deal, Araneta, said: “We are humbled by the trust and belief of the award-winning global brand Qatar Airways. This partnership will only strengthen our resolve to make the PFL an even bigger brand and to continue working towards becoming one of the best leagues in the region and continent.”

The PFL is the Philippines top men’s professional football league. It was launched in 2017 to take over from United Football League as the country’s top-tier league. It is sanctioned by the Philippine Football Federation, and run by Liga Futbol Inc, a company set up by the federation to run its club competitions in a professional manner.

Qatar Airways has a portfolio of major sports sponsorships around the world, including deals with football clubs AS Roma, Boca Juniors and FC Bayern Munich. It is also an official partner of Fifa, in a deal covering the 2019 Club World Cup and the 2022 World Cup, both taking place in Qatar.

The airline said its sports sponsorship work reflects “the values of sport as a means of bringing people together, something at the core of the airline’s brand message – Going Places Together”.