Saudia sign Newcastle United deal that promises to ‘showcase Saudi Arabia to the UK’
NEWCASTLE: Newcastle United have moved to further boost their Champions League spending power by securing an extended deal with Saudia.
The Magpies and the Saudi national airline have further cemented their commercial relationship as the club’s official airline partner, in a deal that is set to cover “2023/24 and beyond.”
The renewed multi-year partnership comes after Saudia sponsored travel to and from Newcastle to Riyadh for their December 2022 warm-weather training camp in the Kingdom. During that trip, the Magpies beat Saudi Pro League outfit Al-Hilal to claim the inaugural Diriyah Season Cup at the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium.
Celebrating the news, Saudia took to X to post: “Soaring to new heights on and off the pitch. We are excited to embark on this journey with the most passionate fans in the world as @NUFC’s Official Airline Partner. Howay the lads #ThisIsHowWeFly.”
Soaring to new heights on and off the pitch
— Saudia (@SaudiAirlinesEn) October 19, 2023
The statement confirming the deal said that the airline, which flies to more than 100 destinations around the world from King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, was looking to connect Newcastle United fans with the Kingdom “through exclusive offers and experiences.”
Of the agreement, Newcastle United’s chief commercial officer, Peter Silverstone, said: “This is a natural step in our growing relationship with Saudia and follows our hugely successful partnership in 2022.
“We were incredibly impressed with Saudia, both on board our flights to and from the Middle East, and in what we experienced as our teams activated our partnership during the 2022/23 season. Saudia’s partnership activations were extremely well-received by our growing local and global fanbase, with incredible digital results being achieved by both parties.
“Our ambition is to grow Newcastle United globally and to become the most popular Premier League club in Saudi Arabia and other territories around the world.
“Saudia will open up new markets for Newcastle United as we strengthen our connection with fans across the globe. We are very excited about the journey ahead. We relish the challenge and opportunity to support Saudia as it looks to expand its route network, and reach new audiences, through the huge global awareness Newcastle United can provide.”
Saudia’s Group Chief Marketing Officer Khaled Tash said: “At Saudia we have always strived to create meaningful connections that transcend boundaries, and our partnership with Newcastle United aligns with this vision. We recognized in Newcastle United a club with a rich history, strong values and a passionate fanbase that resonates with our own principles.
“The opportunity to connect with Newcastle United’s fanbase is a source of great excitement. The prospect of forging a bond with millions of fans and bringing them closer to our brand and values, and to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is truly exciting.
“With our expanding route network and premier product we are keen to reach new audiences showcasing Saudi Arabia to the UK population but also growing awareness of the multiple leisure and business travel destinations Saudia provides through its hyper-connected global network.”
The deal is not only good news for Saudia, it will be music to the ears of head coach Eddie Howe, who is looking to further strengthen the club’s squad in the January transfer window.
Newcastle have been hampered by UEFA financial fair play and Premier League “profit and sustainability” rules, which only allow a club to make a limited loss across three financial years, in recent windows, limiting what can be spent on new recruits for the Magpies’ squad, as they fight on four fronts this season.
The deal comes on the back of Newcastle penning commercial contracts with the likes of Adidas, which begins next season, and newly launched UK “iGaming” and online sports betting brand BetMGM.