By Jon Weisman
It’s a sign of the growing international popularity of baseball in general and the Dodgers in particular that Emirates has become the official airline sponsor of the Dodgers.
In fact, Adrian Gonzalez will be among a contingent of Dodgers visiting Emirates’ home base (or plate) in Dubai at a future date to lead a baseball clinic associated with the local Little League, whose travel teams themselves will be renamed the Dubai Dodgers.
“We have always been in search of an iconic U.S. sports entity,” Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said at a Dodger Stadium press conference today, “one that reaches not only the U.S. but other parts of our network. Taken together, the L.A. Dodgers were the perfect fit for us.”
Clark added that not only do the Dodgers have a large following in Asia and other places Emirates flies to, “but it seems just about 30-40 percent of everybody that goes through Los Angeles’ airport is a Dodgers fan.”
Dodger president and CEO Stan Kasten noted that the deal is part of the Dodgers’ long tradition of a worldwide presence.
“Over the last year, we have become the most heavily attended sports venue in the world,” Kasten said. “But another important part of our history is the outreach we have had globally and internationally, and at a time when globalization is such an important thing for baseball.”
Dodger owner Peter Guber tied a nice bow around the new, multiyear partnership.
“The Dodgers provide emotional transportation for (their) fans, and of course Emirates provides physical transportation,” Guber said.
Included in the arrangement for Emirates will be sponsorship behind home plate and on the Dodger Stadium foul poles. In addition, Emirates will also appear on the stadium scoreboard to commemorate every Dodger home run.