Dubai-based Emirates Airline launched into the popular football arena in China with its latest sports involvement - the Asian Cup, China 2004 which began today in Beijing. Emirates is Official Partner of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), under whose auspices the Asian Cup is played. At the event, Emirates will present the Most Valuable Player award on the final match day in Beijing, and will also feature on all AFC publicity materials including perimeter boards in stadiums throughout games held at the four host cities - Beijing, Chengdu, Jinan and Chongqing.
This is the second sports event Emirates is supporting in mainland China since it began passenger service only three months ago. In May 2004, Emirates sponsored the BMW Asian Open 2004, one of the major golf events in Asia on the PGA European Tour circuit.
“China boasts millions of football fans and we are pleased to be part of the effort to put Chinese and Asian football ‘on the map’,” enthused Edwin Lau, Emirates’ Regional Manager Great China and North East Asia while attending the opening ceremony and match between China and Bahrain.
“Our support for the Asian Cup will increase customers’ awareness of Emirates in China and of our convenient daily flights between Dubai and Shanghai” he added.
Asian Cup, China 2004 is being held from July 17 to August 7, 2004. Sixteen final teams, including the United Arab Emirates, China, Japan, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Jordan, Iran, Oman, Republic of Korea, Iraq, Bahrain, and Turkmenistan will battle for the championship to be crowned the Number 1 team in Asia.
Emirates Airline has established a strong reputation in sports sponsorship. Its global portfolio covers numerous sports events including the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Chelsea Football Club, and other events in horse racing, tennis, rugby, sailing, Australian rules football and cricket. Emirates has also just signed a seven-year partnership deal with the Victoria Racing Club to become the main sponsor of Australia’s top horse race, now named the Emirates Melbourne Cup.