is strengthening its ties with Ireland through a contract to be a lead sponsor and official airline of the famous All-Ireland
Senior Hurling Championships.
Etihad is joined by Guinness and the Irish television broadcaster RTE as the three exclusive sponsors of one of the most skilful and fastest
field games in the world.
Mr James Hogan, Etihad Airways' chief executive,
said, "In less than a year Etihad Airways has developed a strong affinity with Ireland, with
Dublin quickly establishing itself as one of our most popular routes.
"We are very proud to begin this partnership with the Gaelic Athletic Association and look forward to contributing further to the Irish market
which has supported our airline so enthusiastically since we started flying to Dublin in July 2007."
Among the highlights of the sponsorship agreement will be the display of extensive Etihad branding at all All-Ireland Hurling Championship
games, including the final played at Croke Park. Etihad will also feature regularly in match day programmes and other Gaelic Athletic
Association (GAA) publications as well as in some consumer and corporate promotions amongst the local community in Ireland.
The All-Ireland Hurling Championship is the country's premier hurling competition and sees 12 counties compete in a series of 'knock-out'
games played during the summer months prior to the final in which two teams battle it out for the Liam McCarthy Cup.
The All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championships is one of Ireland's oldest sporting competitions, with the first final taking place back in 1887.
Sports sponsorship is a major element of Etihad's marketing strategy and in 2007 the airline announced partnerships with London-based
Chelsea Football Club and
Harlequins Rugby Football
recently signed a three-year sponsorship of the Ferrari F1 racing team and is also the title sponsor of the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi
Grand Prix, which starts in 2009.
In a sign of the growing popularity of the route, Etihad will increase its flying programme to Ireland with daily flights between Abu Dhabi and
Dublin from 30 March.
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