Yesterday we spent the day at London’s Wembley Stadium to celebrate our role as the official airline partner for this years Pepsi Max NFL International Series game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos.
The event kicked off with a huge public NFL tailgate party outside the stadium entrance including appearances from former 49ers stars, marching bands, cheerleaders and live music acts, as well as the 49ers Hall of Fame which gave die-hard fans the chance to see all the trophies from their five Super Bowl wins.
After this we were whisked up to our very special Virgin Atlantic– sponsored VIP party in a pitch-view restaurant, where we sat back and sipped our signature Virgin Redhead cocktails (fresh raspberry champagne!) while watching the game from the best seats in the house.
The Americans certainly know how to turn a sporting fixture into an bumper-sized event, with New Jersey rock band My Chemical Romance taking charge of the pre-game entertainment and Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams and legendary guitarist Jeff Beck performing the US and UK national anthems.
Acting as honorary team captains for the day were three-time Olympic gold medallist yachtsman Ben Ainslie (wearing the colours of home team San Francisco) and Mo Farah, 10,000m and 5,000m gold medallist at this summer’s European Athletics Championships lining up on behalf of the Broncos.
The loudest cheers were reserved for famed Niner’s wide-receiver Jerry Rice and Broncos’ hero John Elway however, who appeared on the pitch for the obligatory coin-toss just before kick-off.
The game itself started out slow but culminated in a thrilling fourth-quarter climax, with San Francisco recovering their pride after a difficult season, beating Denver 24 – 16.
The celebrations continued after the game with a very British high-tea, complete with crustless sandwiches and scones – as if we hadn’t eaten enough already! – which our American guests certainly seemed to appreciate.
And we’re pretty sure our vtravelled competition winners Carl and Paul had a great day out (and night at St Martins Lane hotel) too!
Virgin Atlantic operate daily flights to San Franciso from London’s Heathrow Airport.