Emirates airline and England's East Grinstead Hockey Club have announced a three year sponsorship that will see the Emirates logo proudly displayed on the shirts of the East Grinstead men's first team.
The club's home ground is at East Grinstead Sports Club in West Sussex, just nine miles from Gatwick Airport where Emirates currently operates three daily flights to Dubai and beyond to a global network of over 100 destinations. However, geography isn't the only thing that Emirates and East Grinstead Hockey Club have in common.
East Grinstead's England and GB international Darren Cheesman came into hockey through Arsenal Football Club - one of Emirates' most established football sponsorships to date. As part of Arsenal's 'In the Community' scheme, a then 10 year old Cheesman was introduced to hockey for the first time and 14 years later he has now broken through to the Great Britain training squad. Despite his busy life as a hockey player, Cheesman still maintains very good links with the North London club and Freddy Hudson, the man who recognised his talents with a hockey stick.
Founded in 1897, the stature and reputation of East Grinstead Hockey Club has grown rapidly both on national and international circuits. Now boasting some of the most exciting talents the British Isles has to offer, the club has amassed an impressive haul of titles including the EHL Premier Division, European Indoor Trophy, and National Indoor League.
To announce the new sponsorship, Emirates invited 100 young hockey players from the local community to participate in an exclusive training session with, amongst others, England and Great Britain captain Barry Middleton and 2009-2010 World Young Player Ashley Jackson ahead of their match against Bowdon on Sunday 6th November 2011.
Emirates, one of the world's fastest growing airlines, has been involved with a wide range of sporting events and teams around the world for over 20 years. ""Emirates has a rich heritage in world sport sponsorship and we continue to further expand this with our first ever partnership with a hockey team, the East Grinstead Hockey Club,” said Laurie Berryman, Emirates' Vice President UK & Ireland.
With his team currently sitting top of the Men's Premier Division 2011/12, player/coach and two-time Olympian Mark Pearn said: "The team are delighted to have agreed this partnership with Emirates, an award-winning airline which shares many of the same core values as our sport. We look forward to working closely with Emirates over the next few years on our journey."
England and GB Captain Barry Middleton said, "We're excited about this partnership with Emirates. Our sport is about passion, speed and respect and the interest of Emirates shows that hockey is being taken seriously by global brands. This partnership will certainly help East Grinstead Hockey club, both in terms of performance on the field and our continued investment in youth development in the area."
In 1987, only two years after its inception, Emirates began to build up its impressive sponsorship portfolio which now includes partnerships with the IRB (International Rugby Board), FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) and the ICC (International Cricket Council). Today, the airline is linked to some of the world's leading sport events spread across the six continents to which Emirates flies non-stop from Dubai.
East Grinstead Hockey Club Media Release
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