DUBAI: World Rugby and Emirates have extended their long-standing partnership in a deal that ensures the Dubai-based airline remains a worldwide partner of the Rugby World Cup for the next five years.
The agreement covers the next two tournaments, in France next year and Australia in 2027.
Emirates has also extended its sponsorship of all World Rugby match officials through 2027. That deal has been in place since 2013.
Next year marks the 16th anniversary of the airline becoming a worldwide partner of the Rugby World Cup and it is now recognized as one of the sport’s most visible and active supporters of the game. It also sponsors the Dubai and Cape Town rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
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 program.
“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.”
Emirates’ involvement as a worldwide partner will aid the development of rugby in both emerging and established markets, while the airline’s passengers will be able to watch every moment of the 2023 and 2027 tournaments both live and on-demand from their seats.
World Rugby said that with Emirates’ backing it would continue to invest in the development of the sport’s senior match officials, who epitomize its values of respect and discipline. All referees will wear “Emirates Fly Better Macron” kits when officiating over test matches.
Also, following the success of the award-winning “Whistle Watch,” a World Rugby series presented by former international referee Nigel Owens and sponsored by Emirates, the two partners said they would continue to create innovative content to immerse fans in the world of match officials, inspire young referees and make the game’s rules and regulations easier to understand.
“Emirates has a global stature as a partner and that is incredibly prestigious for any tournament,” World Rugby Chief Revenue and Fan Engagement Officer Richard Heaselgrave said.
“For the 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 help us raise awareness of our sport, and their belief in excellence is aligned with our own vision of staging world-class events,” he added.
“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.”