Scottish Rugby announced today that Emirates, the Dubai-based international airline, has become title sponsor of the Scotland finale to the IRB Sevens World Series which will be played next summer.
Edinburgh will play host to the climax of the prestigious Sevens Series, when the world’s top 7-a-side players will travel to Murrayfield stadium to compete on 2-3 June, 2007 in the Emirates Airline Edinburgh 7s-2007.
The sponsorship was announced today in Scotland by Gordon McKie, Scottish Rugby Chief Executive, Gary Chapman, Emirates’ President – Group Services, and IRB chairman Dr Syd Millar on the day the Scotland 7s team boards Emirates flight EK26 at Glasgow Airport, bound for the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens, which is the first leg of the IRB Sevens World Series event in Dubai.
Andy Irvine, president of Scottish Rugby, is to be Scotland’s ambassador for the two-day spectacle each June for the next five years and welcomes Emirates’ involvement.
He said: “It’s most encouraging to see another top international brand come on board with Scottish Rugby. Emirates has a proud record of being excellent sponsors and I’m sure its association with Scottish Rugby will be a very positive one.
“As we wish our young sevens players well in this weekend’s Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens, I’m sure our players are already looking forward to performing in front of a home crowd next June for the climax of the series.”
Gary Chapman, President – Emirates Group Services, said: “Emirates has been a supporter of rugby for a number of years, seen through our sponsorship of sevens rugby at an international level since 1986.
“We are very pleased to have increased our support within the sevens arena by creating a relationship with Scottish Rugby and the tournament to be known as the Emirates Airline Edinburgh 7s.
“Murrayfield will make a great venue for the tournament and to hold it at a stadium that is so steeped in history will be great not only for Scotland and Scottish 7s rugby, but also the recognition of the 7s game internationally.”
He added: “We believe our support of this tournament will boost Emirates’ profile amongst our customers in Scotland, and look forward to bringing international fans to the event via our daily flights to Glasgow.”
The Emirates Airline Edinburgh 7s-2007 will not only host a wealth of high-quality international rugby sevens on the international pitch at Murrayfield next June, but will also put on a Festival of Rugby celebrating all the abbreviated versions of the game played across the globe.
The Festival of Rugby will be an all-inclusive event, including Tag, touch and full-contact club sevens. It will give players of all levels a fantastic opportunity to participate whether they are beginners or experienced.
Scottish Rugby is encouraging teams and groups from all over Scotland and beyond to come and participate in the Festival, to give the whole event an international flavour. Further information on the Festival of Rugby will follow shortly but you can register your interest by emailing [email protected]
Emirates’ sponsorship portfolio: Emirates has an extensive portfolio of top-class sports sponsorships around the world, from being official FIFA partner up until the 2014 FIFA World Cup and naming rights sponsor to the new home of Arsenal FC – the Emirates Stadium, to helping lead the challenge for the 2007 Americas Cup with Emirates Team New Zealand, and a whole host of other sports including golf and horse racing.
In rugby, Emirates sponsors three tournaments on the IRB Sevens World Series: Emirates Airline London Sevens, Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens; and Emirates Airline South Africa Sevens.
It will also sponsor the first ever Emirates Airline Edinburgh Sevens in 2007. Emirates is also sponsor of the England Rugby Sevens team, the Samoa Rugby Sevens team as well as the IRB’s international referees.
Emirates’ services UK-Dubai: Emirates operates 91 non-stop flights per week from the UK to Dubai – five services a day from London Heathrow, three daily from London Gatwick, two per day from Manchester and Birmingham and daily services from Glasgow.
Emirates currently flies to 88 cities in 59 countries in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Africa, Indian sub-continent and Asia-Pacific. In 2006, Emirates has launched passenger services to Abidjan, Addis Ababa, Thiruvananthapuram, Hamburg, Kolkata, Nagoya, Beijing, Tunis and Bangalore.