Etihad Airways Signs New Multi Million Dollar Sponsorship Deal With The Gaelic Athletic Association
Deal includes five year strategic partnership
· Etihad Airways becomes naming rights sponsor of new SkyLine at Croke Park
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today announced it had forged a new, long-term strategic partnership with Ireland’s Gaelic Athletic Association.
Christy Cooney, President of the GAA, and James Hogan, President and CEO of Etihad Airways
The multi-million dollar deal includes sponsoring GAA’s 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.
The partnership is a further dramatic demonstration of Etihad Airways’ commitment to Ireland since launching flights to Dublin in July, 2007 and becoming a key sponsor of the Championship eight months later.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “I am delighted that we are strengthening our relationship with the GAA and extending a partnership that has worked so well for both organisations.
“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.”
Christy Cooney, President of the GAA, said: “We are delighted to confirm Etihad Airways’ extension to their sponsorship of our GAA Hurling Championship and look forward to working in partnership with them for at least five more years.
“In their time as partners with the GAA, Etihad Airways has brought a fresh approach to the promotion of the unique game that is hurling and their success in involving our clubs and supporters in their innovative and imaginative community initiatives has been outstanding.
“Equally, taking the M Donnelly Inter-provincial final in 2009 to Abu Dhabi helped us to showcase the game to a wider audience.
“Etihad Airways’ support of our new Skyline facility is a further acknowledgement of their commitment to Gaelic games and in this instance to Croke Park in particular and we look forward to many more years in fruitful partnership with this leading international brand.”
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.
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About Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, began operations in 2003, and in 2011 carried more than 8.3 million passengers. Etihad Airways operates 10 services per week between Dublin’s Terminal 2 and its home base in Abu Dhabi. The Irish service commenced in July 2007. The airline serves 84 cities in the Middle East, Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe and North America, with a fleet of 67 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and 100 aircraft on order, including 10 Airbus A380s, the world’s largest passenger aircraft. Etihad Airways also owns nearly 30 per cent of airberlin, Europe’s sixth largest airline, and 40 per cent of Air Seychelles. For more information, please visit: www.etihad.com