Emirates shows World Cup final inflight

Emirates is making sure that its share of the 5 billion people watching the world’s largest sporting event are plugged in and catching every second of action.

Viewers of the 2006 FIFA World Cup? have, by now, noticed Emirates’ distinctive name prominently displayed just to the side of the goalposts in every stadium during the competition so far. But, as one of the tournament’s official sponsors and as one of the world’s most generous supporters of major international sporting events, the airline is going much further to ensure that its customers enjoy every moment wherever they may be.

In the air, travelers are enjoying exclusive screening of the most recent matches, with live text updates of current games being played. Online, soccer fans are following every kick of the 64-game tournament through Emirates’ sponsorship of Matchcast on www.FIFAworldcup.com hosted by Yahoo! And, in 17 international airports around the world, Emirates passengers and others are watching the matches live.

Is it all worth the investment? According to Mike Simon, Emirates’ divisional senior vice president for corporate communications, 80 percent of travelers on some flights are tuning in to the World Cup. Some five million fans a day are logging onto the Emirates-sponsored FIFA website. And, from New York to Dubai, Sydney to London, Emirates’ airport viewing stations have taken on the atmosphere of Germany’s soccer stadiums, with travelers dressed in national team colors, waving flags and going mad with cheering.

“Since the first match kicked off on June 9th, we have received phenomenally positive feedback from our customers,” Simon said. “At some live match screenings, our viewing stations have attracted enormous crowds of cheering fans of all ages and nationalities, all keen to catch some live football action before their flights. You can really feel their passion and excitement.”