Emirates named official airline for 2007 Rugby World Cup
LONDON - Emirates is to become the official airline sponsor for this year's Rugby World Cup, which takes place in France this September.
The tournament, which will be primarily hosted by France with two games to be played in the UK, will have Dubai-based carrier Emirates feature on the perimeter boards at 12 rugby venues once the World Cup is under way.
Emirates said it was developing a programme that would target major cities in France hosting games, including Paris, Bordeaux and Lyons, as well as cities represented by the tournament's southern hemisphere teams New Zealand, South Africa and Australia.
The airline already sponsors the IRB referees, and a host of major tournaments in the international rugby calendar, including the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens and Emirates Airline South Africa Sevens. It also has shirt sponsorship deals with England and Samoa's Sevens teams.
Dr Syd Millar, IRB and Rugby World Cup chairman, said: "Emirates has been a committed supporter of rugby for many years and has a long-standing association with world-class sporting events, and the appointment of a world leader in the airline industry further highlights the enormous attraction and prestige of the tournament."
Emirates said its naming as official airline for the tournament would extend its global sports sponsorship portfolio, which includes Arsenal FC and the Emirates stadium in London, Paris Saint Germain FC, Hamburg FC and official partners of Fifa.
The tournament, which kicks off on September 7, when hosts France take on Argentina, will feature two games at Edinburgh's Murrayfield Stadium and four at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
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