Elite sport sponsorship has become a significant trend in the Arabian Peninsula, where local leaders see investment in high-profile teams and events as a way to shape foreign relations beyond the region – primarily with Europe. Sports sponsorship also factors into intra-regional geopolitics among the Gulf countries, including both cooperation and competition. This article considers both sides of sports sponsorship geopolitics – beyond and within the Gulf – while also recognising that the two orientations are not separate.
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