Etihad Airways has signed a five-year extension to its naming rights deal for Melbourne’s multi-purpose Etihad Stadium.
Having first secured sponsorship of the 53,000-seat stadium in March 2009, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates will now continue as the naming rights partner until 2019.
Exact financial terms of the ‘multi-million dollar’ renewal were not revealed, however some reports suggested the previous deal was worth between AUS$5 million and AUS$8 million per year.
The stadium’s chief executive Ian Collins and Etihad president and chief executive James Hogan made the announcement in Melbourne on Wednesday.
“Placing the Etihad name on this world class sports and entertainment stadium, as well as activating our marketing and hospitality rights, has provided Etihad Airways with a solid platform to build our brand across the state of Victoria and the whole of Australia,” Hogan said in a official statement.
“The partnership with Melbourne Stadiums Limited gives Etihad Airways unparalleled exposure in Australia, one of the most important routes in our network, and we are delighted to extend the naming agreement for Etihad Stadium until 2019.”
Collins added: “Renewing the agreement is in many ways more exciting than when it was first signed in 2009 as it demonstrates how successful the partnership has been for Melbourne Stadiums Limited and Etihad Airways.”
The stadium, formerly known as the Colonial Stadium and then the Telstra Dome, is home to five AFL clubs: Essendon, St Kilda, North Melbourne, Carlton, and Western Bulldogs. It also occasionally plays host to the Melbourne Victory A-League franchise.
Since 2009, more than 150 AFL premiership season matches have taken place at the stadium, as well as 39 soccer matches. The stadium has also hosted three cricket matches, seven rugby league games and three rugby union matches in that time.
Etihad is a major force in sports sponsorship with numerous deals in place in soccer, motorsport, Gaelic sport, and sailing. In the UK, the airline’s profile was boosted last year after two of the teams it sponsors in the country, Manchester City Football Club and Harlequins rugby club, were crowned champions of their respective domestic leagues.