Boon Fronts Emirates’ ICC World Cup ‘Umpire Testing Experience’

As the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 got underway in Australian and New Zealand, tournament sponsor Emirates rolled out its latest activation by inviting fans to step out on the field itself as umpires.


The ICC’s official worldwide partner is leveraging its title sponsorship of the ‘Emirates Elite Panel Of Umpires And Referees’ by asking cricket lovers to step into the shoes of the white-coated decision-makers in the middle and experience just what it is like to make the tough calls.


To promote the initiative on the eve of the first ball being bowled, Australian cricket legend and Emirates Elite Referee David Boon visited the Emirates ‘Who Wants to be an Umpire?’ Testing Centre in Christchurch (New Zealand) – where hundreds of fans were testing their umpiring skills and their knowledge of the game.


Participants were questioned on a randomly selected set of 10 classic (and tricky) umpiring clips.


The mobile ‘Who Wants to be an Umpire? Testing Centre’ will tour eight locations across co-hosts Australia and New Zealand during the Cricket World Cup through February and March 2015 – largely placed in fan zones – where it will test fans on 100 ‘tough calls’.


Fans keen to test their umpiring skills against the elite can visit the centre on the following dates:


  • Melbourne – 14 February
  • Brisbane – 21 February
  • Auckland – 28 February
  • Perth – 4 March
  • Sydney – 8 March
  • Adelaide – 20 March
  • and at the Final in Melbourne on 29 March


Other linked activation strands include Emirates branding on the umpires’ on-pitch kit during matches.


An earlier element of this partnership saw members of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires and Match Referees have a successful ‘innings’ at the Emirates Aviation College Crew Training Facility.


This experience, held late last year ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, drew parallels between the qualities required by Cricket’s elite match officials and Emirates cabin crew – such as leadership, teamwork, attention to detail and a passion for excellence, the training college provided a unique back-drop to bring these elements to life.



Emirates is also leveraging its ICC rights and spreading a general love of cricket and awareness of the 2015 World Cup around the world with specially-liveried A380 aircraft


The first of its Cricket World Cup painted planes was unveiled two weeks before the start of the tournament.


The newly painted aircraft made its maiden flight from the UK to Australia and New Zealand.


It was the first of several ‘specially-dressed’ Emirates aircraft to fly around the globe celebrating the event with cricket-lovers and ‘uniting fans around the world’.


This isn;t the first time the airline has used its principal owned media assets in its sponsorship activation. Indeed, Emirates has unveiled similar ‘dressed’ aircraft on special occasions and during major events – including for Dubai’s winning bid for the 2020 World Expo.




Emirates has held the status of official partner of the International Cricket Council since 2007 and has been ever-present at all its major tournaments since.


Indeed, as well as its alliance with the ICC, Emirates’ cricket sponsorships also include being the title sponsor of ‘The Emirates Airline Twenty20 (which brings successful County Cricket Clubs to Dubai to compete) and a partnership with both Durham County Cricket Club and Lancashire County Cricket Club (where it has naming rights at both home grounds and respective T20 representative team sponsorships).


It primarily uses its flagship ICC partnership as an international platform to connect with fans and communities across Asia, Australasia, South Africa and the UK.


The airline is currently the Official Worldwide Partner to the International Cricket Council (ICC) and as such has rights to properties including the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 as well as the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires, the Emirates International Panel of Umpires & the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees.

The 25 strong team of officials for the ICC Cricket World Cup includes 12 umpires from the Emirates Elite Panel of Umpires: Aleem Dar, Billy Bowden, Bruce Oxenford, Ian Gould, Kumar Dharmasena, Marais Erasmus, Nigel Llong, Paul Reiffel, Richard Illingworth, Richard Kettleborough, Rod Tucker and Steve Davis, as well as 8 members of the Emirates International Panel of Umpires: Johan Cloete, Simon Fry, Chris Gaffaney, Michael Gough, Ranmore Martinesz, Ruchira Palliyaguru, S.Ravi and Joel Wilson.


While the match referees are David Boon, Chris Broad, Jeff Crowe, Ranjan Madugalle and Roshan Mahanama.




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