In a major coup for Junior football, the SJFA’s glamour tournament will be backed by the Dubai-based long-haul airline in “a substantial investment” over the next two years with an option to extend the deal further.
News of the lucrative and historic deal came in a joint announcement ahead of the first-round draw which was made today at Hampden by Emirates sales manager Denise Holmes, Brian Donohoe MP and SFA chief executive Gordon Smith.
Laurie Berryman, Emirates’ area manager UK north, said: “We are very excited about this affiliation with the Scottish Junior Cup.
“This new sponsorship reaffirms Emirates’ commitment to operating in Scotland since we first started a daily Glasgow-Dubai service in 2004.
“We hope that the agreement will offer long-term sustainability to this historic tournament which provides a much-needed platform for grassroots football in Scotland to flourish.”
The tie-in is a major coup for the Junior game in Scotland following the end of the previous deal with Scottish Citylink.
Tom Johnston, secretary of the Scottish Junior FA, said: “We are delighted Emirates has agreed a sponsorship deal which will allow us to build on what is recognised as one of the best known football competitions in the country.
“To be associated with an international brand such as Emirates is a tremendous boost to our game and their involvement is greatly appreciated.”
The Dubai-based airline has signed up to some of the biggest sponsorship deals in world football.
It has been named as an official partner with Fifa for the World Cup until 2014.
And its landmark multi-million link-up with Arsenal in 2004 was hailed as the biggest sponsorship in English football history.
In addition to the Fly Emirates logo on the players’ shirts, Emirates also has naming rights of Arsenal’s home, the Emirates Stadium.
Elsewhere, the airline sponsors Paris Saint Germain, Hamburg AC Milan and Olympiacos.
Its vast array of sporting links also extends to golf, cricket, rugby and horse racing.
So it is that level of sporting expertise that Emirates will now bring to the Scottish Junior Cup, one of the game’s oldest competitions.
The first final was held back in 1887. The current holders are Auchinleck Talbot who beat Clydebank 2-1 in this year’s final.
EMIRATES JUNIOR CUP FIRST-ROUND DRAW
TIES TO BE PLAYED ON OCTOBER 3 (3pm)
Johnstone Burgh v Lochee Harp
Harthill Royal v Camelon Juniors
Bellshill Athletic v Culter JFC
Glenafton Athletic v Kilbirnie Ladeside
Stonehaven v Livingston United
Lossiemouth United v Arbroath Vics
Newmains United v Banchory St Ternan
Oakley United v Sunnybank
Inverness City v Kelty Hearts
Kirkcaldy YMCA v Jeanfield Swifts
Troon v Benburb FC
Beith v Cumbernauld United
Rutherglen Glencairn v Luncarty
Pollok v Kirriemuir Thistle
Greenock v Whitburn
Scone Thistle v Parkvale
Edinburgh United v Penicuik Athletic
Aberdeen East End v Shettleston
Whitehills v Forfar Albion
Lugar Boswell Thistle v Glenrothes
Kinnoull v Hill of Beath Hawthorn
Bankfoot Athletic v Irvine Meadow XI
New Elgin v Auchinleck Talbot
Bonnyrigg Rose v Dunbar United
East Kilbride Thistle v Cruden Bay
Crossgates Primrose v Dufftown
The Spartans FC v Larkhall Thistle
Largs Thistle v Coupar Angus
Hermes v Whitletts Victoria
Banks o’ Dee v Blantyre Victoria
Dundee East Craigie v Carnoustie Panmure