World Rugby and Emirates have announced an extension of the Dubai-based airline’s long-standing relationship as a Rugby World Cup Worldwide Partner.
Under the agreement, the leading airline will continue as Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2023 in France and Rugby World Cup 2027 in Australia.
Underscoring its commitment to the sport, Emirates is also extending its official sponsorship of the Emirates World Rugby Match Officials through to 2027, a relationship that has proven pivotal in the development and performance of elite match officials since 2013.
In joining the global family of Worldwide Partners for Rugby World Cup 2023 in France, Emirates will return to where the hugely successful relationship between the airline and the international federation began in 2007. Since then, the airline has become one of the sport’s most prominent and active supporters as a committed partner of every men’s Rugby World Cup since 2007 and proud sponsor of the Dubai and Cape Town rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
As the Official Airline of Rugby World Cup France 2023 and Australia 2027, Emirates will fly rugby to new frontiers and bring its leading expertise in customer experience to help deliver a truly world-class tournament for fans travelling to the host nations. Its investment in the sport as a Worldwide Partner will help support rugby’s development in both emerging and established markets, while fans will be able to watch every moment from two unforgettable Rugby World Cups live and on-demand from their flight seats, making the sport more accessible.
Supporting rugby’s values and high-performance officiating
With Emirates’ support, World Rugby will continue to invest in the development and support of the world’s top match officials, central to the sport’s values of respect and discipline. The world’s best referees will take the field in their Emirates Fly Better Macron kit when officiating in test rugby, continuing a long tradition started back in 2013.
Following the success of the award-winning ‘Whistle Watch’, a World Rugby content series presented by former international referee Nigel Owens and sponsored by Emirates, the two partners will continue to create innovative content to immerse fans into the world of match officials and inspire young referees to pick up the whistle, while making rugby’s laws more accessible
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World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “We are delighted to announce the extension of our long-term and successful collaboration with Emirates for the next two men’s Rugby World Cups and in support of our men’s and women’s match officials programme. Emirates’ global network and passion for our sport will be key in our efforts to make rugby truly global and their proven excellence in customer experience will be an asset to take our fan services to the next level.”
World Rugby Chief Revenue and Fan Engagement Officer Richard Heaselgrave added: “Emirates has a global stature as a partner and that is incredibly prestigious for any tournament. For Rugby World Cup, we’ve had Emirates on board for more than a decade and we’re immensely proud to be partnering again for the next two pinnacle men’s tournaments.
“Emirates’ global operations in most major markets across the world helps us raise awareness of our sport and their belief in excellence is aligned with our own vision of staging world-class events. Emirates is right at the heart of creating events that people want to take part in, bringing fans closer to the action. We are in the business of days out and unforgettable memories. So are Emirates.”
Emirates Airline President, Sir Tim Clark, said: “Rugby is a sport with great values and a proud heritage in many countries. It is also a sport that’s attracting more participation and interest across communities each year as we are seeing in the UAE where rugby just made it into school programmes nationwide. We see rugby as a great platform to bring people together under a shared passion for the sport.
“Emirates has been a proud sponsor of Rugby World Cup since 2007. France 2023 also coincides with Emirates’ 30 years of flight operations to Paris, Charles de Gaulle and considering we now have 31 weekly flights to France, Emirates is looking forward to flying in fans to watch the world’s best teams competing for the Webb Ellis Cup.”
By renewing as a Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup, Emirates joins Societe Generale, Mastercard, Asahi, Capgemini and Jaguar Land Rover in the global family of Worldwide Partners for Rugby World Cup 2023. Emirates also becomes the fourth Global Partner of World Rugby, joining Capgemini, Macron and HSBC.
About World Rugby
World Rugby is an international federation and a global movement comprising more than 500 million fans and 7.69 million players within 129 national member federations affiliated through six regional associations.
Located in Dublin, Ireland, World Rugby’s purpose is to grow rugby by making it more relevant and accessible, with a vision of a global sport for all, true to its values. The driving force behind the sport’s significant growth has been World Rugby’s portfolio of major events, from the flagship men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups and U20 Championship, that celebrates the future stars of the sport, to the excitement of the men’s and women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens and HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series which are instrumental in attracting new fans.
The financial success of the men’s Rugby World Cup enables World Rugby to invest record sums in the development and growth of the sport from the playground to the podium, ensuring that the sport is as accessible and enjoyable for as many people as possible. Between 2020-23, the international federation will invest more than £565 million in the sport.
The Emirates story started in 1985 when we launched operations with just two aircraft. Today, we fly the world’s biggest fleets of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s, offering our customers the comforts of the latest and most efficient wide-body aircraft in the skies.
We inspire travellers around the world with our growing network of worldwide destinations, industry leading inflight entertainment, regionally inspired cuisine, and world-class service.
About Emirates and rugby
Emirates is one of the world’s biggest supporters of the sport of rugby.
In the airline’s home base of Dubai, The Sevens tournament has been running for more than 50 years in Dubai and Emirates was instrumental in growing its international status when it first began its support in 1987 in cooperation with World Rugby. Through clear focus and a strong commitment from the airline, the Emirates Dubai 7s has become the largest sports event in the region, with over 100,000 fans joining over the three-day tournament in 2021.
The airline also sponsors the jerseys of World Rugby’s Match Officials who take to the field in their Emirates ‘Fly Better’ kits. Emirates’ strong rugby partnerships also extend to the South African Emirates Lions and their home venue, Emirates Airline Park, as well as the Dubai Hurricanes Rugby Football Club.