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Chelsea meet with Saudi Arabian airline Riyadh Air over shirt sponsorship deal

Chelsea are exploring a potential front-of-shirt sponsorship agreement with Riyadh Air, per The Athletic.

Riyadh Air is owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) which already sponsors Atletico Madrid and owns Newcastle United.

The airline was founded by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in March. 

However, they are yet to launch flight operations and plan to commence services in 2025.

Chelsea officials recently held discussions with Riyadh Air’s delegation regarding a multi-year sponsorship deal encompassing both the men’s and women’s teams. 

The club are actively seeking a prominent front-of-shirt sponsor after parting ways with mobile network Three, resulting in blank shirts at the start of this season.

While Riyadh Air remains a strong contender, Chelsea are also considering other potential sponsors, notably Kaiyun Sports, a betting firm that recently entered into an agreement with Nottingham Forest. 

Kaiyun Sports already boasts partnerships with Real Madrid, Crystal Palace and Inter Milan. 

The company has an existing partnership with Chelsea, visible through advertisements at Stamford Bridge during the Nottingham Forest match last weekend.

Chelsea’s pursuit of a long-term front-of-shirt sponsor is marked by the Premier League’s impending ban on gambling firms in this role, scheduled to take effect in 2026. 

Eight of the Premier League’s 20 clubs have such agreements for the current season.

In addition to discussions with Riyadh Air and Kaiyun Sports, Chelsea are exploring other potential partnerships, including one with a major United States technology company. 

These discussions are ongoing, but no imminent agreements have been reached. 

Chelsea are committed to securing a comprehensive package for their men’s and women’s teams.

The club’s commercial team is focusing on businesses within the airline industry, insurance firms, technology companies and the financial services sector for prospective long-term partnerships.

Chelsea are also engaged in discussions with Infinite Athlete, a sports technology company.

The prospective agreement with Infinite Athlete, which may only cover the remainder of the current season, is awaiting approval from the Premier League.

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