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Etihad Airways Signs Massive Deal with Manchester City Football Club

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Manchester City Football Club and Etihad Airways have signed a 10-year comprehensive partnership agreement significantly expanding their existing commercial relationship. 

The deal was signed on Friday by Garry Cook, CEO of Manchester City FC and James Hogan, CEO of Etihad Airways before the Manchester City first team squad departed on an Etihad Airways charter flight for a pre-season tour to the United States.

Garry Cook, CEO of Manchester City Football Club, said: "We are delighted to be expanding our relationship with Etihad Airways through this comprehensive partnership agreement. Most importantly, in addition to delivering significant revenue at a key stage in the club's evolution, the agreement creates exciting opportunities for our two organisations to cooperate more deeply commercially and on media and community initiatives in the future.

Key elements of the comprehensive partnership agreement include:

Etihad Stadium and Campus

The City of Manchester Stadium will be renamed the Etihad Stadium effective immediately, forming the centre piece of a newly named Etihad Campus, which encompasses a large part of the Sportcity site in East Manchester, the popular City Square entertainment space and additional existing and planned facilities.

On current trends and with the added benefit of UEFA Champions League football in 2011-12, global visibility of the Etihad Stadium will be dramatically enhanced and up to two million visitors to the Etihad Campus are expected during the year.

Shirt Sponsorship

Etihad Airways has extended its shirt sponsorship deal reflecting an increased media value due to the club's improved on-pitch performance in the 2010-11 season, qualification for the UEFA Champions League, growing international retail network and a commitment to further enhance the already impactful visibility of the Etihad logo on all home and away shirts moving forward.

Media Cooperation

MCFC and Etihad Airways will expand cooperation on media outreach and content creation initiatives including the provision of increased MCFC content, match coverage and DVD material on Etihad's inflight entertainment system and website. Both parties will also collaborate on joint media initiatives in shared target markets such as India, China, the United States, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

Business Cooperation

MCFC and Etihad Airways will draw upon their existing customer databases and loyalty schemes to create new opportunities for targeted marketing initiatives tailored to the commercial priorities of both parties.

The two organisations will also explore business cooperation at an operational level drawing upon the hospitality, customer service, ticketing and training capabilities of both parties to exchange relevant expertise and potentially deliver shared recruitment, training and call centre services from the Etihad Campus in the future.

Community Cooperation

Through its flagship City in the Community (CITC) program, MCFC will partner with Etihad in joint community initiatives in the East Manchester area, in the UK and internationally building on the success of the Etihad MCFC Soccer Schools in Abu Dhabi. International CITC initiatives such as the delivery of youth football programs in disadvantaged areas will leverage the two parties' shared international interests.

International Cooperation

MCFC and Etihad will work together to build their respective profiles in key markets around the world benefiting from the natural alignment that already exists in shared target markets such as India, China and the United States, in addition to the other target markets of each organisation.

MCFC and Etihad will also cooperate within their home markets of the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates respectively with the new MCFC-branded Etihad Airways A330-200 plane to be used as a flagship on the Manchester-Abu Dhabi route.

The deal builds on Etihads already strong commitment to Manchester. The airline has announced the introduction of twice-daily flights between Manchester and Abu Dhabi from 1 August 2011 reflecting the growing demand for travel between the two cities.

The extra flights to Manchester will be followed by the opening of a call centre in the city employing up to 160 people in 2012. The airline also opened a new Business Class lounge at Manchester Airport in late 2010 for its First and Business class passengers.

To coincide with the signing of the comprehensive partnership agreement, Manchester City Football Club has also announced plans to conduct a public consultation process in the near future on the proposed development of a new youth training and football development facility in East Manchester.

James Hogan, CEO of Etihad Airways, said, This is a game-changing partnership agreement that redefines the traditional sports sponsorship paradigm. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for two iconic brands that share the same vision to promote far-reaching global awareness and business growth ... Etihad's work with Manchester City Football Club has already yielded a significant return on our investment and we are thrilled to build on our relationship. Their well-established name and loyal fan base have allowed us to tap into a new and increasing global audience. In addition to being a sensible alignment for our brand from a business perspective, it is also one that we can get very excited about, especially at a time when MCFC's winning attitude is bringing increased success for the team on the national and international stage.

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