Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Emirates Rallies for Kids' Tennis

Serves up Second Annual Racquet Return Program at Rogers Cup

TORONTO – Emirates airline is serving up its Racquet Return Program at Rogers Cup for the second year in a row. For the duration of the tennis tournament beginning August 15th through August 23rd, Emirates’ will collect used tennis racquets in support of The Doug Philpott Inner City Children’s Tennis Fund which reaches more than 4,500 inner city-youth each summer.
The continuation of the successful program was confirmed by the airline’s sponsorship renewal, celebrating a second term for Emirates and Canada’s largest tennis tournament. The Rogers Cup represents the last 10 world attendance records for a Sony Ericsson WTA event and draw an estimated attendance of 155,000 people, making it one of the most prestigious tennis events in the world as well as a terrific source of inspiration for aspiring young tennis stars.
Last year’s program helped outfit many of Toronto children with a tennis racquet of their own to ensure they continue playing beyond the summer months.

“Our summer tennis camps are offered free to Toronto children and youth, ages 5 to 15, who would otherwise not have access to such activities,” said Beth Dea, Executive Director, Doug Philpott Fund. “Our goal this year is to collect 1,000 racquets for next year’s program so that we can continue promoting health and physical wellbeing to inner-city children by providing skill-developing tennis programs.”

Tennis racquets, preferably junior-sized ones, will be collected by Emirates representatives at the main entrance gate at Rexall Centre, York University. Racquet donations will earn visitors a chance to win two round trip business class tickets to Dubai aboard the brand new Emirates A380.

“We’re excited to extend the Racquet Return Program for the entire duration of the Rogers Cup tournament,” said Mary Heron, Emirates Manager Canada. “We were really impressed with the support of the program that we saw last year, and are delighted to be able to keep up the momentum with our renewed involvement in the tournament. We look forward to growing the program and continuing to showcase our support of junior tennis in Canada.”
The Racquet Return Program follows on an initial investment in Canadian tennis development by the airline: in 2007, Emirates launched a bursary program to support Tennis Canada’s Davis and Fed Cup teams.

The 2009 goal for The Emirates Racquet Return Program is to collect 1,000 tennis racquets which will be distributed among 11 summer camps in Toronto. Support of the Doug Phillpot Inner-city Children’s Fund will provide Toronto inner-city children ongoing access to tennis during the program’s camps and beyond.
The Emirates Airline Racquet Return Program is supported with an advertising campaign on 680 News which includes 38 radio spots; it is also supported at the Rogers Cup event through Tennis Canada and public outreach efforts.

Emirates and Sports Sponsorship
This year, Emirates announces its renewed sponsorship of the Rogers Cup: a two year commitment covering men’s and women’s events in both Toronto and Montreal. The sponsorship represents a key investment in Canada where Emirates launched a three-times weekly non-stop operation from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport to Dubai in 2007.

Emirates has a long-standing commitment to sport sponsorships and has been involved in a wide range of sporting events and teams around the world for over 20 years. In 1987, only two years after its inception, Emirates began to build up its sponsorship portfolio and currently the airline is linked to some of the world’s leading sport events, spread across six continents that Emirates flies non-stop to from Dubai.

Today that portfolio includes prestigious properties such as the FIFA World Cup, Arsenal football Club, AC Milan, the Breeders’ Cup World Championship and Godphin, horse racing’s most successful international stable. In Canada Emirates is also the official sponsor of Woodbine Race Tracks.

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