Gulf News fumbles Rugby Sevens deal

Gulf News has been dropped as the newspaper sponsor of the Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament in favour of freesheet 7Days, Campaign can reveal.

Dubai-based Gulf News, which has been associated with the annual sporting fixture for more than five years, lost out to the tabloid following a competitive pitch involving one other English language daily.

Donal Kilalea, chief executive officer and executive vice president of Promoseven Sports Marketing, which is helping to organise the event, said: "It was a very fair and objective tender. We felt that 7Days suited the target market that we are aiming for, and they made a very strong offer."

He added: "Gulf News has been a fantastic supporter of the Sevens. They have been involved with it for a long time and helped to build it to what it is today."

7Days, which is distributed free and has an audited circulation of 70,906, will help to promote the tournament in its pages in return for marketing opportunities during the event, which this year runs from 30 November to 2 December.

Gemma McKeown, marketing director at 7Days, said: "It makes absolute sense for 7Days to act as the daily press platform for the promotion of Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens 2006.

"Not only do we consistently reach the audience that the event is targeted to, but also our product and brand is perfectly matched to be associated with such an energetic and social sporting event.

"We are overjoyed at the opportunity of promoting the event and look forward to working with Promoseven Sports Marketing in making sure it is the most talked about sporting event of the year."

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