Etihad Airways has signed a new, long-term strategic partnership with the Gaelic Athletic Association.
The multi-million dollar deal includes sponsoring the Hurling All Ireland Senior Championship for the next five years.
Etihad Airways will also become the naming rights sponsor of the spectacular new Skyline landmark tourist attraction at Croke Park, which will open in June 2012.
The 14-storey high Etihad Airways Skyline at Croke Park involves a roof top tour of the stadium and includes spectacular views of Dublin from five different viewing platforms atop three stands, as well as a pitch-viewing cabin.
“I am delighted that we are strengthening our relationship with the GAA and extending a partnership that has worked so well for both organisations,” said James Hogan, Etihad Airways chief executive.
“Hurling is one of the world’s most remarkable sports and it epitomises the passion of the Irish people who have also been great supporters of Etihad Airways.
“This strategic partnership is an example of the way we try to embed ourselves into the local culture of our destination markets and work with the local community.”
Etihad Airways’ marketing activity in the first year of its sponsorship of the Championship was awarded the European Sponsorship of the Year in the Business to Consumer category by the European Sponsorship Association (ESA).
The ESA Awards are the only pan-European sponsorship awards celebrating excellence across all sectors - sport, culture, entertainment, media and corporate social responsibility.
Late last year Etihad Airways launched a major recruitment drive in Ireland, hiring 59 new Irish employees to support its growth around the world.
The airline now has 108 Irish staff employed across its global network, 22 of whom are based in Dublin. This number is expected to grow in the coming months and more company recruitment fairs are planned for April and July in both Dublin and Cork.
Etihad Airways has flown more than 753,000 passengers between Abu Dhabi and Dublin over the last five years and currently operates 10 flights a week between the two capital cities.
Other investments in Ireland have included the opening of a premium lounge at Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2 in February last year and a Line Maintenance Facility in June 2010.