Emirates extends sponsorship deal with ICC

MUMBAI: Middle East airline Emirates has announced that it has strengthened its association with the bat and ball game of cricket. It has extended its relationship with the International Cricket Council (ICC) for another three years.



Emirates' sponsorship of the ICC's elite panel of umpires and match referees for all Test and One Day international matches will see match officials sporting the famous 'Fly Emirates' branding on their field clothing. The officials will continue to be known as the 'Emirates Elite Panel of International Cricket Council Umpires and Referees'.

Emirates has stated that it is looking to take advantage of the fact that the sight of international cricket umpires walking across the outfield to take up their positions at the wicket was a traditional part of the game. The fact that those umpires will continue to wear the 'Fly Emirates' logo on their match apparel helps to establish a continuation and tradition in the game and establishes Emirates as a long-term partner of international cricket.



This relationship is further enhanced by the fact that the ICC recently announced that it will be moving its head office to Dubai, the home of Emirates Airline. In addition to Emirates branding at international cricket grounds and on the umpires themselves, this relationship also sees Emirates become the Official Airline of the ICC.

The number of international cricket matches featuring Emirates-branded umpires will be in the region of 120 One Day Internationals and 55 Test matches a year. That represents a potential 395 days of televised cricket per year with a global audience of approximately 3.5 billion viewers throughout the three year term of Emirates' agreement with the ICC.



Emirates Group chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum said, "Emirates has built up and developed some incredibly strong properties in its portfolio of sports sponsorships and cricket is a game that is passionately supported in many of our key markets.

"Our sponsorship of the International Cricket Council is an excellent way for us to connect with our customers, and to share and support their interests and passions, and we are very proud to announce the continuation of our relationship with them.

"Sports sponsorships help us to promote Dubai in the international arena as a premier business, tourist and sporting destination, both in our home base as well as in the 77 other cities we serve."

ICC CEO Malcolm Speed said, "The ICC is delighted that Emirates has chosen to extend its highly valued relationship with international cricket. It is very positive for international cricket and for Emirates that there is a continuity in this sponsorship and that fans and TV audiences can instantly recognise the Emirates Elite Panel of International Cricket Council Umpires and Referees as an integral part of the international game.

"Emirates is a terrific partner to work with and it has proved its commitment to international cricket over the life of the existing agreement. The ICC is looking forward to building on this excellent relationship going forward, particularly in light of the strategic decision to move the ICC administration to Dubai."

In addition to its sponsorship of the ICC, Emirates sports sponsorships include horse racing with the Dubai World Cup and The Emirates Melbourne Cup, America's Cup sailing with Emirates Team New Zealand and football through the 2006 Fifa World Cup.

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