By Andy Sambidge
UPDATE 1: UAE telco inks MoU for three-year agreement with Abu Dhabi owned club.
The UAE's Etisalat said on Tuesday it had signed an agreement for a three-year sponsorship deal with English Premier league soccer club, Manchester City.
The Arab world's second-largest telecommunication's firm said in a statement it had signed a memorandum of understanding, which preceded "a full three-year strategic sponsorship agreement to be formalised later this year."
Abu Dhabi billionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahayan - who took control of Manchester City in 2008 from Thaksin Shinawatra, Thailand's former prime minister - has transformed the team into title contenders with a series of big money signings including Robinho, Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry and Emmanuel Adebayor.
As part of the terms of the agreement, Etisalat will become the exclusive MCFC telecommunications partner in the countries of Etisalat ’s operations. Etisalat becomes the football club’s third global partner, joining Etihad Airways and Umbro.
Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat did not disclose the size of the proposed deal.
Essa Al Haddad, of Etisalat said: “ Etisalat ’s agreement with Manchester City reflects our passionate commitment to football, in the UAE and internationally, and to our growing global customer base. Moreover, our objective is to create, nurture and develop the young talent in UAE, and position UAE as a leading country on the world sports map."
“The profile of the club is already growing globally, and the ability to effectively expand this growth with tailored communications forms the core of our agreement with Etisalat ,” added Garry Cook, CEO of Manchester City Football Club.
In August 2008, Saudi Telecom Co (STC) unveiled plans to sign a marketing deal with football club Manchester United that could be worth $18.6 million (9.3 million pounds), in its first-ever deal with a non-Saudi football club.
A marriage made in heaven ;-)