Bayern Munich confirmed Tuesday that Qatar Airways will replace Lufthansa as one of their sponsors, expanding the German club’s business links with the Gulf state. Qatar Airways have signed a five-year deal as ‘platinum partners’, the level below Bayern’s main sponsors Adidas, Telekom, Audi and Allianz. The Qatar Airways logo will now appear on the shirt sleeves of the runaway German league leaders.
Bayern’s marketing director Andreas Jung told Frankfurt-based newspaper FAZ that such a partnership “will help us to become more international”. Qatar Airways have taken over the current sponsorship deal, from August 2017, of Doha’s Hamad International Airport, to sponsor Bayern’s shirt sleeves. According to FAZ, the new sponsorship deal will earn Bayern more than the 10 million euros ($12.3m) they received annually from Hamad International Airport.
The move will raise eyebrows in Bavaria with German airline Lufthansa now dropped. Their ties to Qatar have seen Bayern repeatedly criticized because of the human rights situation in the host nation of the 2022 World Cup finals. Bayern spent their winter break in Qatar, which organizes a training camp every January for the German champions.