Etihad Airways has extended its sponsorship deal with Aviva Premiership rugby union team, Harlequins, until May 2011. The Abu Dhabi-based airline began the partnership with London side Harlequins in 2007, with an initial three-year agreement.
Within the details of the partnership the Etihad logo will continue to be displayed on the front of the famous quartered ‘Quins’ shirt as well as branding throughout the stadium. The East Stand of the Twickenham Stoop ground will continue to be named the Etihad Stand and Harlequins players will once again visit Abu Dhabi during the winter and off-season.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer said: “The partnership with Harlequins has provided Etihad with an impressive platform to connect with customers in the UK and we are delighted to extend it for a further 12 months. We wish Quins the best of luck in the coming season.”
Commenting on the extension Mark Evans, Harlequins Chief Executive, said: “Our relationship with Etihad Airways has been an excellent one for the last three years and we are delighted to have secured the airline’s support going forward.
“Etihad has been an exemplary sponsor and we are really looking forward to working with the team to ensure that both parties drive real value from the relationship.”
The highly successful junior rugby tournament, hosted by Harlequins on match days, will continue as the Etihad Airways Curtain Raiser Cup, with the grassroots tournament attracting more than 25,000 people to the Twickenham Stoop each season.
Within the UAE Etihad has also activated the partnership through the Etihad Airways Junior Rugby Festival which has taken place in Abu Dhabi during November.
The festival consists of two key events – the Etihad Harlequins Rugby Schools and the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Harlequins Junior Rugby Tournament.
Quins players such as Jordan Turner-Hall and Will Skinner, as well as club coaches, have taken part in the events which have attracted more than 1,600 youngsters each year.
Etihad Airways’ portfolio of sport sponsorships currently includes: Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia; the Ferrari F1 team; the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix; the GAA Hurling All Ireland Senior Championship; Manchester City Football Club; and the Abu Dhabi Golf Championships.