For many years, Emirates has spent a small fortune on sponsoring major sports events and sports teams around the world – no more so than soccer. As it stands, the Dubai-based airline sponsors eight big-name soccer clubs including Arsenal, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid. In addition, Emirates also sponsors the aptly named Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal FC in London as well as the biggest football tournament in the United Kingdom and the Asian Football Confederation.
It’s no denying that Emirates takes sports seriously – but it’s not just about plastering the Emirates brand logo on jerseys and across sports stadiums around the globe. The near fanatical obsession with sports also extends to the passenger experience and Emirates boasts 175 aircraft equipped with Live TV – including a dedicated sports channel.
If it wasn’t already apparent how well this feature is appreciated by passengers, then take a look at this video of passengers going absolutely wild during several different Emirates flights equipped with Live TV…
So with the UEFA Europa League Final and the UEFA Champions League Final fast approaching – both of which are all-English finals – Emirates has decided to go all out to please its British passengers.
The airline has made special arrangements to ensure all the 23 Emirates flights operating to and from England during match times are equipped with Live TV. This includes flights to and from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle and Birmingham.
While all of Emirates’ Boeing 777’s are equipped with Live TV, only a select number of Airbus A380’s have the technology installed, so Emirates has been careful to schedule those with Live TV onto the UK-bound flights on these dates. Emirates is calling it a ‘stadium in the sky’ and says the capacity will be comparable to the actual stadiums hosting the finals.
And if you’re not that into soccer, don’t worry. The airline also says it will be screening the NBA Finals, the French Open, and the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final live over the next few weeks.
This opens up another area of the debate on the benefits of individual in-flight entertainment. While some airlines are choosing to rip out seatback TV screens in favour of streaming entertainment, other airlines are reaping the benefit of quite deliberately going in the other direction.
But it’s not just about having an individual TV screen – it’s also what that screen can offer. Live TV is no doubt a major investment but Emirates is clearly leveraging that investment to enhance its brand for the better.