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Cathay Pacific to auction world’s largest rugby ball to raise funds for disaster relief

15 Mar 2011

Cathay Pacific Airways today unveiled the world’s largest rugby ball, as certified by the Guinness World Records, which was created as part of the build-up to the 2011 Cathay Pacific/Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens. The ball, which has been manufactured using authentic rugby ball materials, measures about 2.9 metres in height, 4.7m in length and 2.9m in diameter – it can accommodate more than 3,300 standard-sized rugby balls inside!

The record setting giant ball will be auctioned to raise funds for those affected by recent natural disasters in Japan, Yunnan Province in China and Christchurch in New Zealand. The funds raised will be given to the Hong Kong Red Cross to assist its relief efforts in the three countries.

In keeping with Cathay Pacific’s “Game On!” marketing campaign for the 2011 Hong Kong Sevens, seven Cathay Pacific flight attendants and seven of the Hong Kong Sevens squad were on hand to unveil the ball today at the Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. Guinness World Records adjudicator Angela Wu, Head of Commercial, Communications & Events, Hong Kong Rugby Football Union Mr Warrick Dent and Cathay Pacific General Manager Marketing and Product, James Ginns were also in attendance for the record-setting feat.

Speaking at the unveiling event, Mr Ginns said: “Cathay Pacific is proud once again to be the co-title sponsor and official airline for the Hong Kong Sevens. The Sevens seems to get bigger and better with each passing year so we decided to do our biggest-ever promotion to share in the excitement of the Sevens with the people of Hong Kong and visitors.”

“At the same time, we wanted to put the ball to good use, and we hope the auctioning of the ball will raise a big sum of money to help earthquake relief efforts.”

The giant ball will be on public display at the Cucina restaurant on Level 6 of the Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel, the official player’s hotel of the Hong Kong Sevens, from 15 to 23 March. It will then be transferred to the Hong Kong Stadium for the Hong Kong Sevens weekend from 25 to 27 March. In addition, a replica of the record-beating ball will be on public display at Hong Kong Station in Central from 17 to 27 March.

Cathay Pacific will also share in the spirit of the Sevens through Facebook Places – a location-based check-in tool. Members of the public can use their smart phones to “check in” at the locations for the giant rugby ball - at the Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel, Hong Kong Stadium and the Hong Kong Station in Central. Users can email their check-in screen shot to promotion@cathaypacific.com and every day Cathay Pacific will reward the first ones to participate with limited edition Hong Kong Sevens souvenirs. Cathay Pacific is one of the first companies in Hong Kong to leverage Facebook Places as part of a marketing activity.

As part of the “Game On” campaign, the airline has created a striking new TV commercial featuring a number of its Flight Attendants battling it out on the rugby pitch – view it at www.cathaypacific.com/hksevens.