Emirates to sponsor IRB referees



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Emirates has signed a three-year multi-million pound deal that will see the Dubai-based airline become the first official sponsor of the International Rugby Board’s referees.

The agreement will see all IRB match officials wearing Emirates branded kit in all senior international matches and other designated IRB tournaments, starting with this weekend’s opening matches of the 2006 RBS 6 Nations.

Gary Chapman, president of Dnata and Associated Companies, Emirates Group, 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 for rugby at the highest level in partnership with the IRB and that our investment will help to play a significant role with its panels of referees and match officials.’

The sponsorship grants Emirates a number of sponsorship and promotional benefits. In addition to branding rights for the international panel of referees and match officials, and use of the title ‘Official Sponsor of the IRB Referees’ shirt or kit’, Emirates will also be given exclusive naming rights to the IRB’s Annual Awards ceremony which will become the ‘IRB Awards in association with Emirates Airline’.

The IRB’s International Rugby Yearbook will also adopt the Emirates name, becoming the ‘IRB Yearbook in association with Emirates Airline’.

The deal sees rugby joining cricket and football as sports in which Emirates have a high presence through their support for match officials.

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