Award-winning Emirates Airline has a new high-flier among its ranks after agreeing a sponsorship deal with USA Rugby, which will include Emirates flying the Eagles squad to next year’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
The sponsorship is an extension of the existing agreement with the US Rugby Sevens teams, and will see the Dubai-based airline’s branding appear on the shirts of both the men’s and women’s rugby teams for the next six years.
Emirates is also a Worldwide Partner of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, which will be staged in New Zealand next September.
The US Eagles qualified for the tournament last year, and face double Rugby World Cup winners Australia as well as Ireland, Italy and Russia in their pool.
The Eagles will take to the pitch wearing their new kit on Saturday 5th June, when they play in the Churchill Cup, which this year is being held in both Denver and New Jersey. Matches will be broadcast in the United States and the UK.
Maurice Flanagan, Executive Vice Chairman, Emirates Airline and Group said: “Emirates has a long standing involvement in rugby, both the traditional XV-a-side and the rapidly growing sevens form of the game, and we are delighted to extend our relationship with USA Rugby.
“Following the recent decision to admit rugby sevens into the Olympic Games in 2016, this is a particularly exciting time and we look forward to working with USA Rugby to help promote and grow the game across the United States.”
Nigel Melville, Chief Executive Officer and President of Rugby Operations, USA Rugby, added, “Emirates is rightly renowned for its tremendous investment in sports sponsorships around the world, and this represents a fantastic association for USA Rugby.
“The next 16 months will be extremely important and challenging for the Eagles, as we work towards the Rugby World Cup, but before that we have plenty of rugby to play, including the Churchill Cup starting this weekend at Infinity Park, Glendale. I am delighted to have Emirates on board as we look forward to an exciting future for USA Rugby.”
Emirates has sponsored the US Rugby Sevens teams (both men and women) since December 2009, and the men’s team, under the guidance of Al Caravelli, has enjoyed a successful season on the IRB World Sevens Series, including reaching a Cup final for the first time in Adelaide, Australia in February.
USA Rugby was formed in 1975. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, there are currently over 95,000 registered players and coaches across the country.
The US Eagles face England and Russia in the 2010 Churchill Cup – the biggest rugby tournament in North America.