Lions ink five-year sponsorship with Emirates

The Super Rugby team will become known as the Emirates Lions.

The new logo for the Lions Super Rugby team, who will be now known as the Emirates Lions. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The Lions Super Rugby team this morning announced a five-year sponsorship agreement with global airline group Emirates.

In terms of the deal Emirates will become the title sponsor of the Lions Super Rugby team and have naming rights to the team's home ground Ellis Park in Johannesburg as of 1 January, 2015.

The Lions will become known as the Emirates Lions, and the "Fly Emirates" logo will adorn the match and training jerseys of the team for the next five years and Ellis Park will be named Emirates Airline Park.

Golden Lions Rugby Union CEO Rudolf Straeuli said the union is thrilled to partner with Emirates.

"It is wonderful to have financial stability as a result of the support from this international, iconic brand, over the next five years," said Straeuli.

"We are looking forward to working closely together in not only developing rugby at grassroots level in both South Africa and the United Arab Emirates, but also expanding the game of rugby across the globe.

"As 2015 will mark the 20th anniversary of the Springboks' 1995 Rugby World Cup win at Ellis Park, it is exciting for us to have secured Emirates as a stadium sponsor from next year," he added.

Emirates senior vice president, commercial operations for Latin America, Southern and Central Africa, Orhan Abbas, said Emirates is a strong champion of rugby worldwide and South Africa is one of the top rugby playing nations.

"It's the first major sponsorship by Emirates of a South African team, and this will certainly raise the visibility of the Emirates brand not just here, but also in our key markets of New Zealand and Australia where the Super Rugby competition is played, and a number of other markets in which the games are televised," said Abbas.

"Our new association with the Lions enables us to be part of Ellis Park, which is an historical and famous venue in the country, most notably for hosting the Rugby World Cup final in 1995 which South Africa won. This was the same year in which Emirates first started operations to the country," he added.

The Emirates Lions kick off their 2015 Super Rugby campaign on 13 February 2015, when they take on the Hurricanes of New Zealand at Emirates Airline Park.