Emirates Backs NZ Barbarians For England Match
15 December 2003
EMIRATES BACKS NEW ZEALAND BARBARIANS FOR ENGLAND MATCH
The New Zealand Barbarians rugby side has been given a major boost with the news of major backing from Emirates Airline, as the team assembles in the UK to play World Cup winners England.
The Dubai-based international airline's first rugby sponsorship in New Zealand underscores its commitment to the country, which it serves with thrice-daily flights between Dubai and Auckland, launched earlier this year via Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, in Australia.
The New Zealand Barbarians will wear the 'Fly Emirates' branding against England at Twickenham on Saturday December 20, a match which will be broadcast live in New Zealand on Sky TV, as well as on BBC 1 in the UK.
The Baa-Baas' 21-man squad includes several former New Zealand representatives such as Taine Randall (captain) and Craig Dowd, others regarded as fringe All Blacks, and some players from outside New Zealand.
They will appear in the traditional red-and-white Barbarians kit, which will bear the Fly Emirates logo, also worn by the International Cricket Council's elite Panel of Umpires and Referees and the English Premiership football club, Chelsea FC.
Emirates has a proud tradition in rugby sponsorship, as sponsors of the IRB World Series Sevens tournaments in Dubai, South Africa and London, as well as its sponsorship of the England Sevens team.
Gary Chapman, President Associated Companies, Emirates Group, said: "We are delighted to be able to expand our support of rugby union. It's a great opportunity for us to support a New Zealand team in an important match that will be widely watched there and in England, as we continue to build our own business in both markets.
"England's recent success in the world series was enhanced by the sport's new high-profile, which gives players a chance to perform on a global stage. The Barbarians' image is a great fit for Emirates. We have built a reputation as an innovative aviation player and we believe deeply in competition.
He added: "Emirates is a relative newcomer in the aviation industry, but it has successfully carved a rapidly growing presence among more established airlines by pushing the boundaries of customer service."
Emirates recently was the launch carrier for the new Airbus A340-500, which offers the world's most advanced comfort and entertainment features and now operates on the Auckland-Sydney-Dubai service.