Etihad Airways has signed a three-year deal to be the official shirt sponsor and partner of Premier League side, Manchester City FC. The Etihad Airways brand logo will appear on Manchester City shirts from the summer.
The partnership is initially for three years and was announced today at the City of Manchester Stadium by Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive, James Hogan, Manchester City FC Chief Executive Garry Cook and Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council.
The airline was launched in 2003 and now flies to 54 cities around the world. It started daily flights to Manchester in 2006 and last year it carried six million passengers on its international network.
Mr Hogan said: “This new partnership marks the beginning of what we hope will become a strong and lasting relationship between Manchester City and Etihad Airways. Our home-base is Abu Dhabi and therefore we have a strong bond already with the Club and its owners and we look forward to building on this in the months and years to come.”
The airline and Club will also work together on several overseas projects including team tours to the UAE and South Africa , as well as community-based schemes in the United Arab Emirates and East Manchester.
Mr Hogan added, “Etihad Airways and Manchester City both have a strong sense of community and we will work together on building ties between Abu Dhabi and Manchester, especially with youngsters through our highly successful soccer school programmes.”
As well as appearing on the world-famous sky blue shirt, the deal will see the Etihad Airways’ logo and branding at the City of Manchester Stadium, as well as on the Club website and match day programme and merchandise.
Commenting on the deal, Garry Cook added, “Manchester City Football Club is delighted to announce this partnership with Etihad Airways and join its stable of associations of the highest calibre, including the Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the Ferrari Formula 1™ team.
“These are exciting times at Manchester City as we look to build a world-class team and sustainable success on and off the field. This partnership will play an integral role in our strategy.”
Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council, said: "The Abu Dhabi partnership with the city is hugely important and one which will bring significant benefits to everyone associated with Manchester. We welcome the announcement about Etihad Airways, which reinforces the links with Abu Dhabi and Manchester, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Club and Abu Dhabi to strengthen our wider partnerships going forward."
The first occasion the Manchester City shirt , bearing the Etihad Airways logo, will be shown to the world will be on July 18th when City take on the Orlando Pirates in Cape Town in the first game of their pre-season tour to South Africa.
Etihad Airways has built up an impressive portfolio of international sponsorship partners which includes the Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Ferrari Formula 1™ team, Harlequins Rugby Football Club, the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championships, the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.