DUBAI, 13 September 2023: Emirates, the Official Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2023 (RWC 2023), has kicked off the coveted tournament with a playful video featuring renowned South African referee Jaco Peyper.

The campaign comprises a fun video which sees Jaco Peyper usher the airline’s iconic A380 with bespoke RWC 2023 livery to the tarmac, ready for take-off. Jaco sprints past the aircraft and blows a whistle to signal pushback. The Emirates A380 is cleared for take-off, heading to Paris to kick-start Rugby World Cup 2023

The light-hearted video follows the success of the award-winning ‘Whistle Watch’, a World Rugby content series presented by former international referee Nigel Owens and sponsored by Emirates. Rugby fans can look forward to special episodes filmed across France throughout the tournament.

Emirates and Rugby World Cup

As a Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2023, Emirates enjoys a significant branding presence throughout the tournament, including Television Match Official branding and hospitality and ticketing rights.

The airline will also roll out a fan activation zone this year in Paris, Lyon and Marseille with exciting “fly better” initiatives. Emirates Cabin Crew will capture special moments for rugby fans with an instant camera printed in a limited-edition RWC 2023 photo frame. At the airline’s world-class hospitality chalet, guests can look forward to exclusive tasting sessions of luxury champagne brand Dom Pérignon and cognac in partnership with LVMH.

The Rugby World Cup is one of the world’s biggest and most popular events, taking place once every four years. This year, the tournament is underway and concludes on 28 October. Matches are played across nine cities in France. Jaco Peyper kicked off the Rugby World Cup 2023 opening match on 8 September between host nation France and New Zealand at Stade de France (Saint-Denis).

Emirates’ partnership with World Rugby traces back to 2007 when the airline first sponsored Rugby World Cup 2007 in France as a Tournament Sponsor. The airline then became a Worldwide Partner for the Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand, the first Worldwide Partner to sign an agreement for both England 2015 and Japan 2019 in Japan and currently a worldwide Partner for Rugby World Cup France 2023 and Rugby World Cup Australia 2027.

Emirates also sponsors the Emirates Match Officials, with the world’s best referees taking to the field in their Emirates Fly Better kit when officiating in test rugby – a partnership that started in 2013.

Earlier this year, the airline played a pivotal role in transporting The Webb Ellis Cup from South Africa to Paris via Dubai onboard its iconic A380 with bespoke RWC 2023 livery, with South African rugby legend Tendai Mtawarira, who was part of the winning team at Rugby World Cup 2019.

A staunch supporter of rugby

Emirates continues to be a staunch supporter of rugby worldwide. The airline has been a Title Sponsor of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens for over 30 years; a proud sponsor of the Cape Town Sevens; partner of the South African Emirates Lions and their home venue, Emirates Airline Park; sponsor of the Dubai Hurricanes Rugby Football Club; and Official Airline of UAE Rugby Federation (UAERF) since 2011.

Serving France with 35 weekly flights

Emirates conveniently connects rugby fans to RWC 2023 through its 35 weekly flights to/from France, including three daily A380 flights to Paris, daily flights to Lyon, and daily A380 flights to Nice. The airline’s extensive network of 140 destinations offers French customers onward connections to Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Middle East, Africa and Australasia.

Passengers onboard will spot branded menus, drink coasters, cake toppers, and headrests featuring the RWC 2023 logo. Rugby fans won’t miss a moment of action onboard as matches will be aired live on Sport 24 and Sport 24Extra on selected flights – available on the airline’s award-winning ice entertainment system – and across dedicated Emirates airport lounges worldwide. 

Customers will also enjoy gourmet meals and premium beverage selection, including 37 varieties of French wines and champagnes and an enticing Spirits menu.

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