Emirates, the Dubai-based international airline, today became a sponsor of one of the worldå‘s biggest sports events when the airlineå‘s Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum signed an agreement making it an Official Partner for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
With this agreement, co-signed in Dubai by FIFA Vice-President Jack Warner, Emirates flies into the stratosphere of sport sponsorship and becomes the first-ever airline to become an Official Partner of the FIFA World Cup.
Besides Emirates, 12 other companies have officially confirmed their involvement as Official Partners - adidas, Avaya, Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Continental, Deutsche Telekom, Gillette, Hyundai, McDonald’s, Philips, Toshiba and Yahoo!
Sheikh Ahmed said “Our investment in sport is linked with our ongoing drive to develop into a global brand. Becoming an Official Partner will be good for Emirates, good for Dubai and good for the UAE.
“As an Official Partner we will be taking part in all 64 matches in Germany in 2006 and also involved in sponsoring the FIFA Women’s World Cup, coinciding with the launch of our new Shanghai service in 2003, and The FIFA Confederation’s Cup in France in 2003 and in Germany in 2005.
FIFA Vice-President Jack Warner said, “Just like FIFA, Emirates offers a five-star product. Emirates is already an Event Partner at the FIFA World Youth Championship and is now becoming an Official Partner at FIFA’s biggest event, the FIFA World Cup. We very much welcome the involvement and backing of such a high-flying company.”
The airline will be featured in all 2006 FIFA World Cup publicity, including branding on perimeter boards at 12 venues throughout Germany, and will enjoy ticket and hospitality facilities for all matches in the tournament, as well as similar arrangements at the other FIFA events.
Franz Beckenbauer, President of the Local Organising Committee, added: “It is a great pleasure to welcome a company as prominent as Emirates on board at this early stage. We are committed to a successful long-term relationship with our new Official Partner.”
Emirates, one of the worlds fastest growing airlines, has received more than 200 international awards for excellence since its 1985 launch. Last week it unveiled plans for a massive new expansion, adding a record 11 new aircraft to its fleet by the end of this year, boosting seat capacity by 25%, launching four new routes, adding more flights on many existing routes and introducing new inflight services and products.
The airline serves 64 cities in 45 countries in Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, Africa, Asia and Australia and is now actively preparing to launch services to North America. It has 58 aircraft on order to bring its total fleet to more than 100 by the end of the decade.
The award-winning carrier has always invested in sport, especially football, since its launch. It is Event Partner for the FIFA World Youth Championship to be held in the UAE from March 25th to April 16th 2003 as well as Official Club Sponsor of English Premier League club, Chelsea and the Asian Football Confederation.
Emirates also supports the PGA European Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic; World 7s Rugby Series which include tournaments in Dubai, England, Wales and South Africa; and The Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest horse race.
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