SBJ/February 20-26, 2017/Marketing and Sponsorship

USA Rugby signs Emirates to sponsor summer series, announces host venues

USA Rugby has secured Emirates as title sponsor for its two-game summer series and has announced venues near New York City and Atlanta as hosts of the international matches.

Emirates has been a jersey sponsor of Team USA since 2008.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
Team USA will take on Ireland on June 10 at Red Bull Arena, in a match co-promoted with TLA Worldwide, and then play the Republic of Georgia in a match one week later at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga.

Emirates has been a jersey sponsor for the team since 2008 and agreed to extend its rights with the title sponsorship for the series. It was the first time USA Rugby had offered a series title deal, said David Sternberg, CEO of Rugby International Marketing, the governing body’s for-profit media and marketing subsidiary. Terms were not disclosed.

The governing body and TLA are coming off a successful co-promotion in November, when they produced “The Rugby Weekend Presented by AIG” in Chicago based around two international matches. More than 80,000 people over two days attended a U.S.-New Zealand Maori match at Toyota Park and an Ireland-New Zealand match the following day at Soldier Field.

USA Rugby last had an international match in the New York market in 2010. “This is a market we’ve been meaning to come back to for a long time,” Sternberg said. “Hopefully it’s not another seven years before we’re back in Red Bull Arena.”

Along with its size, New York also has a large community of expats from rugby-playing countries, he said. Emirates in particular benefits from the proximity of the arena to Newark Liberty International Airport.

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