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Football's marketing machine heads East

Soccerex lands in Dubai in October and the global event could give you big ideas on how to profit from the world’s no.1 sport.

A global event dedicated entirely to making money out of the world’s largest sport lands in Dubai on October 22. Soccerex 2001is being held in Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Hotel over two days and expects to attract some of the very biggest names in world football.

The event has the backing of the UAE Football Association (UAEFA) and Emirates Airlines is the official carrier for the event. Sheikh Saeed bin Zayed Al Nahayan, chairman of the UAE Football Association; Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Emirates Group; and Sepp Blatter, FIFA president, have been invited to open what will be the seventh edition of the event. (That’s assuming that Blatter, under fire from FIFA members, still has his job.)

World cup winning England football forward, Sir Geoff Hurst, is confirmed as a guest at the event. Sir Geoff is the only person to have scored a hat–trick in a World Cup Final.

England’s Chelsea Football Club, sponsored by Emirates Airlines, is confirmed at Soccerex. South African Footballer of the Century, Jomo Sono, will be taking part and is expected to offer valuable insights into the development of football in so-called emerging nations. Former England managers, Glenn Hoddle and Terry Venables, are also being lined up.

Emirates Airlines is one enthusiastic backer of the event. It is a major sports sponsor, supporting events such as rugby and English cricket. From the beginning of the new season in August, Emirates will be the official shirt sponsor for Chelsea football club, a deal worth many millions of dollars.

“It fits in well with our current involvement with sporting sponsorships,” says Genevieve d’Souza, manager of group promotions at Emirates, of the airline’s involvement in the event. “Everyone with a business interest in football is being encouraged to attend. The business opportunities surrounding the world’s biggest game are truly all encompassing, and Soccerex 2001 is the vehicle to showcase them.”

Emirates is the official carrier for Soccerex and will provide special fares to all the delegates as part of the agreement. Arabian Adventures has been enlisted as the event’s official destination management company.

Companies confirmed as attendees include Dubai Duty Free, Deloitte and Touche, TEAMtalk and the British Tourist Authority. Endorsement comes from as high up as Manchester United, which has previously hosted the event.

“Soccerex is a wonderful opportunity to see and hear what’s happening in the world’s biggest sport,” said Peter Draper, group marketing director of Manchester United. “We would encourage anyone with a business interest in football to attend and we look forward to being there ourselves.”

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