By Beatrice Thomas
Follows deals with Etihad, Etisalat, the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and Aabar Investments
Arabtec Holding has become the latest UAE company to sponsor Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City Football Club after signing a three-year deal with the English Premier League Champions.
Under the deal, announced by the engineering and construction firm late Wednesday, it will gain “certain promotional rights and privileges that will reinforce its brand in MENA, Russia, India, and Serbia”, have access to “specific rights of use of the club’s brand” as well as tickets and special programmes for VIPs to attend matches and special events.
Visibility of Arabtec’s logo and promotional materials at Manchester City’s home ground, Etihad Stadium, and across the club’s digital platforms are also included in the deal.
The club, which won its second Premier League title in three years on Sunday, was acquired by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahayan's Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008.
Since then it has signed several Abu Dhabi companies as sponsors, including Etihad Airways, under a 10-year deal reportedly worth up to £400m ($670m), as well as Etisalat, the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and Aabar Investments.
Last month, Manchester City were named the best paid team in global sport, according to Sporting intelligence’s Global Sports Salaries Survey for 2014, with an average first-team pay at City calculated at £5.3 per year, or £102,653 per week in the period under review.
However, the club is facing fines of €60m ($83.3m) and limits on their Champions League squads for next season for breaching UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules.
UEFA said earlier this month that nine unnamed clubs, thought to include Man City, faced punishment under new rules designed to force teams to limit their financial losses and make soccer more economically stable.
The club posted a loss of £51.6m ($85.4m) in its latest financial year.
Hasan Ismaik, managing director and CEO of Arabtec Holding, said the sponsorship would further boost Arabtec’s brand in the region and globally as it pushed ahead with plans to become one of the top 10 companies in the world by 2018.
“We are proud to be part of this golden time Manchester City is enjoying, with two out of its four league titles having been won under the ownership of His Highness Sheikh Mansour,” he said.
Ferran Soriano, CEO of Manchester City, welcomed the partnership with Arabtec, noting the important role of sponsorship agreements in further developing the club.
“Arabtec is an important force in its sector and across its region,” he said. “Both Manchester City and Arabtec are ambitious to become globally recognised brands. As Arabtec looks to develop and grow further across the markets which our agreement focuses on, we are looking forward to a successful relationship and to working together.”
An Arabtec spokesperson declined to comment on how much the sponsorship deal was worth when contacted by Arabian Business.