Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has welcomed international football star Patrick Vieira as the latest high-profile addition to its Guest Ambassador program.
One of the most accomplished sportsmen of his generation, Vieira has won nine league titles and five national cups during his 17-year career as midfielder with some of the world’s leading football teams, including Manchester City, Arsenal, Inter Milan and Juventus.
He was also part of France’s national football team during its 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 victories, and currently serves as Head of the Elite Development Squad at Manchester City Football Club, which is also sponsored by Etihad Airways.
In his new role as Etihad Guest Ambassador, Vieira will work on a number of initiatives to promote Etihad Airways in the UK and other key markets around the world.
The agreement builds upon the success of several grass roots sporting initiatives run by Etihad Airways and Patrick Vieira in the past two years, focused on the athletic development of youngsters in key markets around the world.
Peter Baumgartner, chief commercial officer, Etihad Airways, said: “When we look for Etihad Guest Ambassadors, we look for remarkable men and women who follow their aspirations, excel in their chosen fields, and also reflect the brand values of Etihad Airways.
“Patrick Vieira, who is one of the football world’s biggest success stories, fits the description perfectly.
“Etihad Airways already has a long-standing relationship with Patrick, as he’s a regular guest on our flights across the globe, and we have also run a series of collaborative projects that aim to develop the skills of aspiring footballers worldwide.
“We are delighted to extend this relationship even further by welcoming Patrick as our latest Etihad Guest Ambassador.”
The Etihad Guest Ambassador program was launched in October 2013 and features some of the biggest names from the global entertainment, art and sporting industries.
Current ambassadors include Australian celebrity Dannii Minogue, Indian actress Katrina Kaif, German golfer Martin Kaymer, Vietnamese Australian chef Luke Nguyen, and Australian cricketer Shane Warne.
Commenting on his appointment as Etihad Guest Ambassador, Patrick Vieira said: “I have been a regular traveller on Etihad Airways flights since the airline was first established a decade ago and really admire the superior service that is consistently delivered to guests.
“Aside from this, I’ve also had the pleasure of working with Etihad Airways on a number of projects, such as hosting community sporting events for youngsters in the UAE, Seychelles and China.
“In my official capacity as Etihad Guest Ambassador, I look forward to even more collaboration, with a number of exciting promotional initiatives planned for the future.”