Etihad becomes key partner of Australian football team

Former Barcelona star David Viilla has recently signed for Melbourne City.

Former Barcelona star David Viilla has recently signed for Melbourne City.

Melbourne City Football Club, which recently signed former Barcelona star David Villa, has announced Etihad Airways as its new principal partner in the latest sponsorship deal signed by the Abu Dhabi-based airline.

The five-year deal and new team kit were unveiled on Monday by Scott Munn, CEO of Melbourne City FC, and James Hogan, president and CEO of Etihad Airways, at the football club's AAMI Park home stadium.

Hogan said: "Etihad Airways and the City of Melbourne have a special relationship. It's not only one of the most popular destinations in our global network, it's also the home of Etihad Stadium, Melbourne's premier sports and entertainment precinct.

"Our new partnership with Melbourne City FC further strengthens our ties with this great city and, we hope, will support the Club and its army of fans in their bid to win the Hyundai A-League.

"It's also a valuable addition to our portfolio of sporting partnerships which includes Barclays Premier League champions, Manchester City FC, and their home ground at Etihad Stadium in Manchester."

Munn added: "We are very excited about what we are building here at Melbourne City and this new partnership with Etihad Airways underlines our growing potential both on and off the pitch."

In addition to the branding opportunities, Hogan and Munn also announced plans to work on together on football schools for children, regular fan competitions, and promotional airfares for club members and fans.

The Melbourne City squad and management team will also fly with Etihad for the club's pre-season tour of England.

The Hyundai A-League is run by Football Federation Australia (FFA) and was established in 2004 with the first season of competition in 2005.

The A-League currently consists of 10 teams and the season runs from October to May, culminating in a Grand Final.

Etihad operates daily flights between its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport and Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

In addition to Melbourne City FC, Etihad Airways' sponsorship portfolio includes Melbourne's Etihad Stadium, Manchester's Etihad Stadium in Manchester, Manchester City Football Club, the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, and the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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Posted by: Chris J

Melbourne City is a very unknown club. It will remain that way given the prominence of real football in the state of Victoria. The real game in Victoria is AFL (Australian Football League). Soccer is not called football in Australia. It is called soccer. real football in Australia is AFL. Crowds at soccer games in Australia are very small in contrast to an AFL Grand Final with over 100,000 people in the stadium and millions watching on TV.

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