Melbourne City Football Club has announced Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, as its new principal partner.
The five-year deal and new team kit were unveiled today by Melbourne City FC chief executive Scott Munn and Etihad president James Hogan at the club’s AAMI Park home stadium earlier.
Hogan said: “Etihad Airways and the City of Melbourne have a special relationship.
“It’s not only one of the most popular destinations in our global network, it’s also the home of Etihad Stadium, Melbourne’s premier sports and entertainment precinct.
“Our new partnership with Melbourne City FC further strengthens our ties with this great city and, we hope, will support the Club and its army of fans in their bid to win the Hyundai A-League.
“It’s also a valuable addition to our portfolio of sporting partnerships which includes Barclays Premier League champions, Manchester City FC, and their home ground at Etihad Stadium in Manchester.”
Etihad Airways president James Hogan, centre, joins Melbourne City FC chief executive Scott Munn, centre right, and John van ‘t Schip, Head Coach of Melbourne City FC, centre left, to celebrate the new partnership at AAMI Park in Melbourne
In addition to the branding opportunities, Hogan and Munn also spoke of the broader initiatives that Etihad Airways and Melbourne City FC will work on together which include football schools for children, regular fan competitions, and promotional airfares for Club members and fans.
Munn added: “We are very excited about what we are building here at Melbourne City and this new partnership with Etihad Airways underlines our growing potential both on and off the pitch.”
The Melbourne City squad and management team will fly with Etihad Airways, via Abu Dhabi, for the club’s pre-season tour of England departing from Melbourne tonight.
Munn, left, signs on with Etihad president Hogan, centre, and Luisa Pastrello, Etihad Airways general manager Australia & New Zealand, right
The Hyundai A-League is run by Football Federation Australia and was established in 2004 with the first season of competition in 2005.
The A-League currently consists of ten teams and the season runs from October to May, culminating in a Grand Final.
Etihad Airways operates daily flights between its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport and Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
The airline has a First and Business Class Lounge at Sydney International Airport and will open another at Melbourne International Airport in the first half of 2015.
Etihad Airways was voted World’s Leading Airline at the World Travel Awards in 2013.