By Duncan Mackay

ATP EmiratesJanuary 2 - The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and Emirates have announced a new global partnership in which the Dubai-based airline will become the Official Airline of the ATP World Tour, as well as the new title sponsor of the ATP Rankings.

As part of the five-year agreement, Emirates becomes an Official Platinum Partner of the ATP World Tour, as well as the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, through until 2017.

South African Airways had previously been the Tour's official airline, an agreement that began in 2006 and renewed in 2008.

"We're delighted to welcome Emirates as the Official Airline of the ATP World Tour," said Brad Drewett, the executive chairman and President of the ATP. 

"It's fantastic news for men's professional tennis that a brand of Emirates' global stature has pledged their support to the ATP World Tour for the next five years," 

"This long-term commitment from Emirates is a testament to the world-class entertainment that is enjoyed by millions of fans across the world on the ATP World Tour."

It is the latest deal Emirates have signed with a major sport.

They are already a sponsor of FIFA and Premier League Arsenal and last year signed up to become a partner of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

"This tie-up with the ATP World Tour and Rankings is a perfect addition to our existing portfolio of global sports sponsorships," said Sir Maurice Flanagan, the executive vice-chairman of Emirates Airline and Group. 

Emirates tennisEmirates already sponsor a number of high-profile tennis events, including the US Open 

"It will allow us to share in the sporting passions of our customers and bring them closer to the players.

"We see it as a natural extension of our current presence at high profile tennis events including sponsorship of several ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, the Emirates Airline US Open Series and being an official partner of the US Open.

"Through our global network and carefully selected sports sponsorships, Emirates successfully unites and engages fans and we look forward to working with the ATP to maximise on the consumer experiential and digital media opportunities this sponsorship presents to us."

With a heavy focus on activation around the ATP Rankings, Emirates will also become the presenting sponsor of the ATP World Tour number one trophy ceremonies and the ATP Newcomer of the Year award, presented annually at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

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