ETIHAD AIRWAYS, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and the Formula One Group have signed an agreement extending the airline’s title sponsorship of the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for four years, effective through to 2015. Etihad has been title sponsor for the event since 2009. James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ CEO, and Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One Group CEO, have formalised the multi-million dollar deal.
Mr Hogan said: “This sponsorship extension goes against the current commercial trend of shorter sponsorship terms and demonstrates our long-term commitment to Formula One. We have seen that F1 is a highly effective vehicle, no pun intended, for promoting the values of the Etihad brand and showcasing our home city of Abu Dhabi to a massive global audience.
“The additional four-year term also allows us to strengthen our footprint with F1 and leverage our investment in their global platform more strategically. I am thrilled to build on the already excellent relationship with Formula One.”
Mr Ecclestone added: “The Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has been an immense success for Etihad, Abu Dhabi and for Formula One, bringing the airline and destination to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 500 million F1 fans. The influx of visitors travelling to Abu Dhabi also brings a direct economic benefit, with over 20,000 people pouring into the UAE for the event, representing tens of millions of dollars for the local tourism industry.”
As part of the partnership, Etihad will continue to promote the event globally through its various communication channels and marketing programmes. The airline also continues to fly its two F1-branded liveried aircraft to destinations across its network. One of these specially-painted aircraft will perform a flyover of the Yas Marina Circuit to open the 2011 event in November.
Etihad continues to receive a major trackside advertising package and podium branding for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.