Telstra Dome renamed Etihad Stadium

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:


Melbourne’s Telstra Dome will be known as Etihad Stadium from March.

* Update: Australia considers adopting Islamic banking

– 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.

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8 thoughts on “Telstra Dome renamed Etihad Stadium”

  1. * daily, non-stop service between Melbourne and Abu Dhabi.

    What, they don’t stop to pray to the sockpuppet?

  2. In the US most baseball stadiums have the names of companies who buy the naming rights too. I’m amazed that we haven’t had one name after some Saudi prince yet. However, if Obama the Great wins maybe the Chicago White Sox will rename their park Dear Great Leader Obama Field.

  3. I think if it was sponsored by a more acceptable Australian company such as Victoria Bitter , XXXX or Winfield Blue then the yobbos wouldnt mind so much, just goes to show how we try and pride ( or is it hide behind ?) on being politically correct and not racist. Wake Up Australia, this is today NOW – globalisation is here to stay money talks and BS walks, should be happy that such a large company is willing to spend its money on our economy. Unless Telstra who has contineud to rip us all by charging 300% more than its competitors for worse products wants to donate more than $5 million to keep naming rights, go ETIHAD !!!

  4. I concur with Yasar.
    Telstra have given me nothing but grief over the past couple of years. I’m relieved by mobile contract has expired with them after getting the dreaded Telstra JIZJAM.
    Etihad have done nothing wrong by me, in fact from all reports they have great service and flights. It’s all about competition, how can that be a bad thing for the consumer?
    That’s a disgraceful comment from you Frank. Very un-Australian! (And you’ve probably got an Italian background too! lol)

  5. I am sure Yassar and Alan would have found it equally grand if – say- Nazi Germany’s Lufthansa would have been sold the naming right to a public sporting arena in the 1930s. Or maybe to AirZimbabwe in honour the murder regime of Comrade Mugabe?

    Utter ignorance must be bliss.

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