Thanks to Darrin
Scott Spits/The Age
Money talks: Sponsorship for the footy is more important than the future of the country
* That’s right: bend over and spread ’em, here comes your big spender, baby:
– Stadium’s name change
– Five-year deal
– Airline ‘here for long road’
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is the official airline of the London-based Chelsea Football Club.
The airline’s chief executive, James Hogan, said the sponsorship was a five-year deal.
“Australia is a hugely important and rapidly growing market for our airline, and this deal provides an excellent opportunity to continue building our global brand and long-lasting relationships with the travelling public, many of whom we know are huge sports fans.”
The stadium’s chief executive, Ian Collins, wouldn’t disclose how much the sponsorship was worth, but described the deal as “significant”.
“The naming rights sponsorship is something that you don’t often have to go to the market with,” Mr Collins said.
Mr Hogan said the sponsorship of the Docklands venue, along with their association with Chelsea, the Ferrari Formula One team and the Harlequins Rugby Football Club, was “part of a strategy of being associated with sport”.
“As a Melburnian, I know better than no one the impact of footy,” Mr Hogan said.
“The deal is for five years, with an option for a further five. The airline is here for the long road.
“We’ll be promoting Melbourne, Melbourne sport, Melbourne as a destination through our network.”
Mr Collins predicted Etihad Stadium would eventually become part of the language for Melbourne sports fans.
“No doubt it will become part of the vernacular in Melbourne. I’m certain people will know about Etihad the Airlines, and Etihad the stadium and venue.”
He also said there would be flow-on benefits for tenants, such as AFL clubs.
“With Etihad coming to Melbourne, from a branding point of view I think the venue will present something that does give them recognition on the Melbourne skyline and right through everyday usage as it gets known,” Mr Collins said.
“It (the benefits) will flow on through to the hirers and they’ll get benefits out of it as well.
“We’re in (to the deal) to make the stadium profitable but also to the hirers who work with us, that they have a good experience when they come here.”
The sponsorship takes effect from March 1, 2009, just weeks before the airline launches a daily, non-stop service between Melbourne and Abu Dhabi.
This story was found at:Â http://www.theage.com.au/national/telstra-dome-renamed-etihad-stadium-20081023-56w3.h