English Premier League club's stadium will be renamed Etihad Stadium as part of 10-year deal
Manchester City Football Club and Etihad Airways on Friday announced a 10-year partnership agreement significantly expanding their existing commercial relationship.
As part of the deal, the City of Manchester Stadium will be renamed the Etihad Stadium effective immediately, forming the centre piece of a newly-named Etihad Campus, which encompasses a large part of the Sportcity site in East Manchester, the City Square entertainment space and additional existing and planned facilities.
No value was given to the deal in a statement from the club but reports have estimated it could be worth as much as $480m.
On current trends and with the added benefit of UEFA Champions League football in 2011-12, the Etihad Stadium expects up to two million visitors during the year.
Etihad Airways has also extended its shirt sponsorship deal reflecting an increased media value due to the club's improved on-pitch performance in the 2010-11 season, qualification for the UEFA Champions League, and a growing international retail network.
MCFC and Etihad Airways said they will also expand cooperation on media outreach and content creation initiatives including the provision of increased MCFC content, match coverage and DVD material on Etihad's in-flight entertainment system and website.
Garry Cook, CEO of Manchester City Football Club, said: "We are delighted to be expanding our relationship with Etihad Airways through this comprehensive partnership agreement.
"Most importantly, in addition to delivering significant revenue at a key stage in the club's evolution, the agreement creates exciting opportunities for our two organisations to cooperate more deeply commercially and on media and community initiatives in the future."
James Hogan, CEO of Etihad Airways, added: “This is a game-changing partnership agreement that redefines the traditional sports sponsorship paradigm. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for two iconic brands that share the same vision to promote far-reaching global awareness and business growth."
To coincide with the signing of the comprehensive partnership agreement, Manchester City Football Club has also announced plans to conduct a public consultation process in the near future on the proposed development of a new youth training and football development facility in East Manchester.
Well I am not sure that the good folk of Manchester will be too happy at losing the stadium's location identity altogether. Manchester Etihad might have been better, but just naming the ground as the Arabic word for unity, removes any English city linkage all together.
Still it follows in the footsteps of the Emirates stadium at Arsenal and Bolton Wanderers play at the Reebok stadium. Money talks at the expense of cultural depreciation.
When UEFA said there will be a finnacial fair play I said teams like City, Chelsea, Real Madrid and all Italian teams will find a way to generate insane revenue from ridiculous third party. Then I read the Arabian Business article "'No worries' over Man City finances, says Al Mubarak" on May 20th and now this contract which in England they say may not be accepted by UEFA. You will see a tailor from Russia who makes $50 a day giving $100 million sponsor contract to Chelsea. Financial fair will give teams better chance but these established teams will find a way. Who knows if Berlusconi can't change the rules he will run for the president of UEFA and all hell will break loose.
The good folk of Manchester really dont care. This team which was nothing more than mediocre before 3 years ago (relegated twice from the premiere league), is now all of a sudden amongst Europe's elite? Football has become a farce with the influx of all these billionaire owners...Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal built teams the right way. Tottenham Hotspur are trying to do it the right way. Unfortunatley it looks like it may all be in vein as it becomes harder and harder to compete with the billionaire owners...
Congrats to Etihad Airways. A fantastic airline, rapidly building on its strong brand image and living up to Abu Dhabi's and UAE's vision of success. A sound move. Wishing them all the best!
nobody in Manchester will give a monkey's about the name change. Etihad Stadium in Manchester's Middle Eastland s can only be an improvement on what was a drab area of Manchester for many many years. If this move enhances the stadium and facilities in and around the area then it will only be for the benefit of Mancunians and Manchester City fans alike. Heaven knows that the fans got very little from the many years at Maine Road in the centre of another less than salubrious suburb; Moss Side!
Etihad literary means United in Arabic.
The most disturbing part of all of this is is that City don't even own the stadium yet they sell the naming rights for Â£400m! No, actually, the most disturbing part is that the Â£400m over 10 years is nowhere near enough to make City break even.
I agree UEFA will be toothless to implement their own rules - does anyone really see a Champions League in 2 years' time without Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter etc?
Actually, Etihad means 'Unity' in Arabic. Mutahid is United.
A Tunisian friend said that Etihad does translate as UNITED?