Etihad Airways Agrees To Five-Year Sponsorship Agreement With Melbourne City
Etihad Airways "has sealed a sponsorship agreement" with A-League side Melbourne City as the Middle East "displaces Asian cities as the main transit point for flights from Australia to Europe," according to Mahmoud Kassem of THE NATIONAL. The five-year sponsorship agreement and a new team kit "were unveiled." Melbourne City is owned by Man City, which is in turn owned by Abu Dhabi and also sponsored by Etihad. Behind football, there are "more serious shifts happening in global airline routes from Australia." The steady rise in the past decade of Dubai Int'l Airports as well as the airports of Doha and Abu Dhabi "have been steadily eroding market share for the transit links of Singapore and Bangkok" (THE NATIONAL, 7/7). THE DRUM's John McCarthy reported the agreement includes "jersey naming rights as well as joint initiatives to develop junior football schools, and competitions and promotional airfares for club fans." In addition to Melbourne City, Etihad’s sponsorship portfolio includes Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium, Manchester’s Etihad Stadium, Man City, the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, and the F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (THE DRUM, 7/7). In Melbourne, Sam Edmund reported Melbourne City Manager John van’t Schip admited that "there will be more pressure on him to get results." Van't Schip: "The expectations are going to be far higher and that’s normal. But it’s more what you put on yourself with expectations and I’ve always put that on myself ... so for me it doesn’t really change." Van’t Schip and Melbourne CEO Scott Munn "refused to elaborate" on reports Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer Frank Lampard "was also on his way to the reformed club" (HERALD SUN, 7/7).