Emirates to sponsor Durban Sevens
September 26, 2001

Emirates on Wednesday announced their title sponsorship of the Durban Sevens, which forms part of the International Rugby Board's World Sevens Series.

The Emirates Airline Durban Sevens will take place at the Absa Stadium from November 16 to 18.

In 2000 Emirates became the official carrier to the South African leg of the IRB World Sevens Series in a three-year deal.

The move to extend the association to title sponsorship sees the airline continuing their long-term involvement in the sport which dates from 1987 when Emirates began its sponsorship of the Dubai Rugby 7s.

Emirates, the award winning international airline, will fly in the 16 competing teams from destinations as far as Australia to participate in the festival of rugby that is billed as "Fast Furious Fun!".

Juan Van Rensburg, Regional Manager Southern Africa for Emirates said: "Sevens rugby is fast and entertaining and we believe it will continue to grow in popularity. We are delighted to be extending our partnership with South African Rugby and look forward to working with them to develop a high profile quality tournament that will do rugby 7s proud."

"We are delighted that a high profile sponsor like Emirates has decided to increase its sponsorship to become title sponsor of the IRB World Sevens Series in Durban," said Gary Grant, SA Rugby (Pty) Ltd GM of Marketing.

"Sevens has been identified as one of our priority projects because of its ability to attract new players and spectators to rugby.

"The hosting of an international event in the form of the Emirates Durban Sevens is helping us to lift the profile of Sevens rugby and will contribute to the growth of the Sevens game in years to come.

"We hope that the Durban leg of the IRB World Sevens Series is a big success and are confident that the Springboks will put in a strong performance amongst the likes of World Champions New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, Samoa and others," Grant said.

According to Juan van Rensburg, Regional Country Manager for Emirates Southern Africa, the airline has organised various cost effective packages for the events both in Dubai as well as Durban, some including land arrangements, and some with ticket only options. These are available from various tour operators.

The world's top Sevens teams, including Series title holders and world champions New Zealand, Australia and Fiji, will again participate in the 2001/2002 Series, which comprises 11 rounds between November 2001 and June 2002.

Participating teams will have a break in December before returning to action on the South American leg of the Series where events will be held at Punta del Este in Uruguay on January 4 and 5 and Mar del Plata in Argentina on January 11 and 12.

In February, the Series visits New Zealand and Brisbane, with the highlight of global Sevens in Hong Kong in March, followed by Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai in April.

The Series concludes in the United Kingdom in May and June. The dates for the penultimate event in London are still to be confirmed whilst the final event on the Series will be played in Cardiff from May 31 to June 1. - Sapa

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