Newcastle have added SAUDIA as their official tour airline partner ahead of the training camp in Riyadh next month. SAUDIA will be the carrier that flies the lads to Riyadh for the 6-day training camp.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) November 16, 2022
It appears that the airline will have future sponsorship opportunities as new chief commercial officer Peter Silverstone said the following:
“Whilst Newcastle United is on an exciting and ambitious journey to grow our global reach and fanbase, we are also very focussed on growing our fan base and following in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East.
“Our ambition is to become the most supported English Premier League football team in Saudi Arabia; a country whose population includes a large, young, passionate and highly engaged football community.
“We are delighted to partner with SAUDIA as our official tour airline partner, and we look forward to working with them during our trip to Riyadh and for the remainder of the 2022/23 English Premier League Season.”
This is the second sponsorship deal announced in two days. On Tuesday, Newcastle confirmed Monster Energy as the official energy drink. They will have a digital presence at St. James’ Park on matchdays.
We are still awaiting the big catch, which is the official shirt sponsors for after this season. Newcastle’s deal with FUN88 has been cut short and ends after the 2022/23 campaign.
In an earlier interview, chief financial officer Darren Eales said the following about working with PIF-related sponsors:
“It would make sense in terms of some of the doors that could be opened by PIF. They invest in a number of countries globally.
“I also think when you look at a country like Saudi Arabia with a young population, 36 million and growing, football is the number one sport and there is some natural affinity there in terms of the commercial value of having an association with Newcastle.
“The days are gone of it just being advertising and a name on the shirt, it’s about what their goals are and about what they’re trying to achieve and from that we’ve got to have fair market value, that’s the reality.
“Companies are going to want to have a demonstrable return. We’ve got the potential for something that’s really great.”
Eales’s comments from early October echo what Silverstone stated above. Newcastle are looking to grow their fanbase in Saudi Arabia. We are likely to see a PIF-related company as the shirt sponsor after this season.