- Associated Press - Monday, December 1, 2014

MILAN (AP) - Emirates airline celebrated the renewal of its shirt sponsorship of AC Milan for five more seasons Monday in a deal reportedly worth 85 million euros (more than $100 million).

With bonuses, the agreement could be worth 100 million euros ($125 million), according to the ANSA news agency, a 40 percent increase on the previous deal.

“It’s a double celebration for Emirates as we deepen our relationship with this great city, heralding two iconic moments,” said Emirates president Tim Clark at a news conference.

“The renewal of our AC Milan sponsorship and introduction of our dedicated A380 service to Milan this evening.”

The previous deal, which was worth 11.7 million euros ($14.6 million) per season, plus bonuses, was due to expire next year.

Milan’s press office would not confirm details of the deal, which lasts through the 2019-20 season.

But it’s clearly a much-needed cash boost for Milan, which finished eighth in Serie A last season and failed to qualify for Europe.

“It will be a big help for the next transfer campaigns and for the future of Milan,” said club vice president Barbara Berlusconi. “We want to return to the Champions League as soon as possible.”

Berlusconi spoke of Milan’s interest in building a new club-owned stadium in the Rho area in the city outskirts to host the Expo Milan world fair from May to October in 2015.

Milan currently shares the city-run San Siro stadium with Inter Milan.

Clark said that, if the new stadium is built, Emirates would be interested in naming rights.

“We’ve already done it with Arsenal and it’s been a great success,” Clark said. “If there will be an auction Emirates will participate.”

Emirates first signed a sponsorship agreement with Milan in 2007 then took over the shirt space in 2010-11.

Milan will meet Real Madrid - which is also sponsored by Emirates - in a friendly in Dubai on Dec. 30.

Emirates announced last month that it was not renewing its sponsorship with FIFA for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.


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