Airways has won the ‘European Sponsorship of the Year’ award in the business to
consumer category for its sponsorship of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) hurling in Ireland.
The awards, hosted by the European Sponsorship Association (ESA) and held at the Radisson SAS Royal Hotel in Brussels, are respected
across the multi-billion dollar global sponsorship industry with Etihad competing with Vodafone, Shell, Royal Bank of Scotland and Puma for
the prestigious title.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive,
said, “To win an award like this, so early on in our partnership with the GAA, is a terrific
achievement. Etihad always aims to develop strong links with local communities through its sponsorships and we’re pleased to have formed a
connection with the grass roots of this sport which is at the heart of the Irish people.”
Nicky Brennan, president of the
GAA, added, “The Etihad partnership with hurling has been a huge success. The airline’s brand is now known
across Ireland and Etihad’s services from Dublin have shown spectacular growth. Perhaps the greatest compliment that we can pay Etihad is
that we appreciate their respect for the GAA's and hurling's culture and heritage. The airline’s collaborative approach with the hurling
community has increased the impact of their sponsorship, which is truly a partnership with the Irish community both here and
Etihad started its sponsorship of hurling in March 2008 and the Abu Dhabi-based airline received praise from the award judges for the way it
immediately engaged with its audience in Ireland through promotions across radio, television and print media.
The promotions included an innovative competition which allowed entrants to nominate friends and family around the world to win flights with
Etihad to watch the hurling final which took place in September in the Irish capital Dublin between Kilkenny and Waterford.
There was also a competition entitled “best club under the sun” for an amateur hurling team to win a trip to Abu Dhabi for a winter training camp.
The competition aimed to reward a team that made a difference in their local community and was won by Portumna from Galway.
Etihad also hosted regular online competitions.
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