Etihad Airways is Melbourne City’s new major sponsor.
In what is probably the least surprising news we’ll hear all offseason, the Abu Dhabi-based airline has replaced Westpac as Melbourne City’s principal partner on a five-year deal. Westpac will apparently remain as the club’s shorts sponsor.
No financial details of the new sponsorship arrangement were disclosed, but it must surely rank among the most lucrative in A-League history.
In making the announcement, the club also formally unveiled its new home and away kits, which feature the new sponsor. The kits certainly look the part, even if the players donning them look a little too serious.
Manchester City has made no secret of its intention to generate consistent branding across all of its global properties, so it certainly was not unexpected to see Melbourne City adopt Etihad as its major sponsor. The airline already features on the front of Manchester City’s home shirt and holds naming rights on the British club’s home stadium. The airline also has a strong presence in Melbourne through its sponsorship of Etihad Stadium at Docklands. Etihad chief executive James Hogan said the new partnership “further strengthens our ties with this great city”.
Melbourne City chief executive Scott Munn added that Etihad and the club would collaborate on a number of initiatives, including football schools for children, fan competitions and promotional airfares for club members and supporters.
There were rumours that today’s press conference would bring news of potential new signings – Frank Lampard, anyone? – but that will have to wait for another day.
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