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.For all the latest business 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.
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