Emirates appointed official airline of Rugby World Cup 2015 and 2019

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January 27, 2014 (ISN) – Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) has announced the appointment of Emirates as a Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2015 in England and Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.

The deal also features an extension to Emirates’ successful sponsorship and support of the IRB match officials until 2019, including rights to match official shirts for both Rugby World Cups, representing a first for Rugby’s global showcase event.

The announcement extends a winning partnership between one of the world’s biggest sporting events and the global connector of people and places, which stretches back to 2006 and ensures that Emirates has enjoyed a significant global platform at every Rugby World Cup since 2007.

RWCL Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “We are excited to be renewing our long-standing and highly-successful partnership with Emirates. Emirates is a strong champion of Rugby worldwide and the reappointment of a globally renowned brand and a world leader in the airline industry further underscores the enormous prestige of Rugby World Cup in the global sporting and business marketplaces.”

“We look forward to collaborating with Emirates to further the promotion of Rugby around the world through the Rugby World Cup partnership and support of our match officials as the sporting community looks forward to what promises to be an exceptional England 2015 tournament and an historic first Rugby World Cup in Japan.”

As Official Airline of Rugby World Cup 2015 and 2019 and IRB match officials’ sponsor Emirates will work closely with Rugby World Cup and the IRB to further the promotion, participation and engagement in Rugby worldwide.

RWCL Managing Director Brett Gosper added: “This deal represents the largest and most wide-ranging sponsorship deal in the history of Rugby World Cup. We are well on track to secure and announce the full Rugby World Cup 2015 commercial programme in record time, which is great for the tournament and great for Rugby at a time when the sport is experiencing unprecedented global profile, participation and commercial appeal.”

Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, said: “Rugby is a core part of Emirates’ sports sponsorship portfolio. We’ve supported Rugby around the world for more than 20 years, and we are glad to have helped connect hundreds of thousands of passionate Rugby fans from around the globe through these events. Rugby is an international sport that reaches an international audience, many of whom are Emirates customers.”

“The 2011 tournament in New Zealand was the most widely-broadcast Rugby World Cup ever, and we anticipate the next two Rugby World Cups will only be more spectacular. For Emirates, it was a natural decision to be the first Worldwide Partner of both the England and Japan tournaments, and as Official Airline we look forward to flying fans to experience the event for themselves.”

The announcement has been strongly welcomed by the Rugby World Cup 2015 and Rugby World Cup 2019 organising bodies as the sport looks forward to what promises to be a record-breaking event in England and a ground-breaking first event in Asia when the hosting baton passes to Japan 2019.

England Rugby 2015 Chief Executive Debbie Jevanss added: “We welcome Emirates as the Official Airline of Rugby World Cup, a company that has a longstanding partnership with the sport of Rugby. We look forward to working closely with them in the lead up to Rugby World Cup 2015.”

Japan 2019 General Manager Koji Tokumasu added: “Rugby World Cup 2019 is a first for Rugby in Japan and Asia. We are excited that Emirates will be Official Airline of the tournament. Rugby World Cup will contribute greatly to further develop and grow Rugby in Japan, and with so many visitors expected it will also deliver significant tourism and trade benefits.”

Emirates is well positioned to connect fans to the Rugby World Cup host countries, currently offering more than 100 flights per week into the UK, of which 42 are serviced by its flagship A380 aircraft, while there are 21 weekly flights to Japan with daily flights to Haneda and Narita in Tokyo, and Osaka.

The announcement follows the appointment of Heineken, Land Rover, Société Générale and DHL as Rugby World Cup 2015 Worldwide Partners, Gilbert as Official Ball Supplier, Canterbury of New Zealand as Official Sportswear Supplier and Clifford Chance as Official Law Firm.