By Andy Sambidge
Airline chief inks deal with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone to put Etihad name to Grand Prix until 2021
Etihad Airways said on Sunday it has extended its title sponsorship of the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to become one of the longest title sponsors in F1 history.
The airline has been the title sponsor of the Middle East’s biggest sporting event since the inaugural race in 2009 and has extended its deal until 2021.
The partnership extension was finalised between James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ president and CEO, and Bernie Ecclestone, CEO of the Formula One group of companies, at the airline’s Innovation Centre in Abu Dhabi.
Hogan said: “We are delighted to extend our title sponsorship of the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and to continue our association with an event which showcases the airline and our home of Abu Dhabi to a global audience of more than 500 million people.
“The F1 event is now firmly established as one of the major highlights of the Formula 1 calendar, with Yas Marina Circuit as one of the world’s most advanced sporting venues. We look forward to bringing hundreds of thousands of motorsport fans to the UAE’s capital over the next seven years and beyond.”
The Etihad Airways Innovation Centre was chosen as the venue for the finalisation of the agreement as it’s where the airline’s latest in-flight cabins and products are researched and tested, underlining the synergies with Formula 1, the statement said.
Ecclestone said: “We are happy to extend our relationship with Etihad Airways, one of the world’s most innovative airlines, and an organisation which shares the same passion and commitment to cutting edge technology, team-work and precision engineering as we do in Formula 1.
“Etihad Airways has been one of the most forward-thinking Title Sponsors in Formula 1 history and to secure the airline’s extension of its Title Sponsorship is fantastic news for the sport and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which has made such a huge impact on the F1 season.”
The exposure provided by the Formula 1 sponsorship underpins the plans of Etihad Airways and its Abu Dhabi home base, whose strategy is to develop the UAE’s capital into one of the world’s leading economies, tourist destinations, and air transport hubs.For all the latest sports news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.