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Soccer club Al Wahda secure ‘groundbreaking’ deal

09 November 2010 | Posted in Sponsorship, Soccer, Middle East | By Michael Long

Emirati soccer club Al Wahda S.C.C. have announced a ‘groundbreaking’ sponsorship deal with aluminium smelter, Emirates Aluminium (EMAL).

The agreement with the Abu Dhabi-based club, which, according to Al Wahda, represents the “biggest deal” in the league’s short but lucrative history, will see EMAL adorn the UFL champions’ colours for the remainder of the 2010-2011 season.

As part of the deal, EMAL has the exclusive sponsorship rights to the team for the Etisalat League, the Etisalat Pro Cup, the President’s Cup, and Fifa Club World Cup, which will be held in Abu Dhabi from 8th December.

Announcing the deal at a press conference at the Grand Millenium Hotel, Saeed bin Fadel Al Mazrouei, chairman and chief executive officer of EMAL, described the association with Al Wahda as a “great privilege”. A number of Al Wahda’s first team regulars attended the conference to display the club’s new kit to photographers, including forwards Ismail Matar and Fernando Baiano.

Oliver Wood of Blink Events, organiser of the press gathering, stated: “This is the biggest sponsorship any team has ever had in the league. It is groundbreaking because it signifies major businesses taking greater notice of the value of sport, and football in particular in the region. Again highlighting the commitment Abu Dhabi inspires within the UAE to sport, their teams and global tournaments coming to the city and UAE as a whole.”

Ali Saeed Mazrouei, vice president, board of directors of the Al Wahda soccer club was delighted at the sponsors’ support: “I express my gratitude to Emirates Aluminum for coming forward to support us and said the club is keen to develop the skills of the youth in order to become outstanding players. These are exciting times for Al Wahda and we are delighted to have Emirates Aluminium on board as our sponsors.”

Al Mazrouei continued: “There are many reasons behind our choice to sponsor Al Wahda but the principle among are them is this - we believe in investing in today for the benefit of tomorrow. The players, coaches and staff of Al Wahda are both an important part of the Abu Dhabi community and ambassadors of the UAE.”

“The club’s players are role models and they carry with them the values and spirit of the people of the country We’re so proud to be supporting Al Wahda Club as they seek out glory in the Etisalat Pro League, Etisalat Cup and the Fifa Club World Cup.”

The vice president refused to disclose any financial details of the deal, simply stating the partnership would be a “long-term” one. Talks between both parties for EMAL to assume the role of shirt sponsor during Al Wahda’s AFC Champions League campaign early next year remain “ongoing”.

Al Wahda are the defending champions of the UAE’s Premier Division will represent the country in the upcoming Fifa Club World Cup to be held in Abu Dhabi from 8th o the 18th of December.

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