Italian top-tier Serie A heavyweights Inter Milan have officially announced a deal with Doha-based airline Qatar Airways, making it the club’s official global airline partner.

The partnership, which was initially reported last month, was unveiled during Inter’s match against Frosinone.

This involved a takeover of Inter’s San Siro stadium, with its towers lit up in Qatar Airways colors, a cabin crew team welcomed the players and supporters to the ground, and hospitality areas were covered in materials and images relating to Qatar Airways.

The deal reflects a wider trend of sporting organizations welcoming airlines with links to the same state-owned companies as sponsors.

A GlobalData report reveals that, so far in 2023, the airline sector has invested $990 million in sports sponsorships across 294 active deals.

Qatar Airways currently has 17 unique, active deals in the sports sponsorship market, spending $158 million annually.

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The airline is also a main sponsor of Paris Saint-German, the champions of France’s top-tier Ligue 1, and was a sleeve sponsorship partner to Bayern Munich, champions of Germany’s Bundesliga, until they ended the deal due to fan pressure.