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Abu Dhabi’s Etihad sponsors Saudi football team Al Nassr

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad sponsors Saudi football team Al Nassr

Etihad also sponsors English football club Manchester City and other sporting events

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways has announced a shirt and main sponsorship deal with Saudi football team Al Nassr FC.

The multi-season partnership with the Saudi Stars League team was signed in Abu Dhabi in the presence of Saudi national team players Mohammed Al-Sahlawi; and Ibrahim Ghaleb; and international stars Ahmed Musa and Noureddine Amrabat.

The deal will see Etihad Airways branding appear on the team’s shirts from its game against Ohod at the Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz Stadium in Madinah August 30.

The two sides will also explore other opportunities in marketing, customer, loyalty, social media outreach, inflight programming and travel trade support.

“We have experienced first-hand the growth of Saudi’s inbound tourism to Abu Dhabi and this new partnership reflects the importance of Riyadh and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the airline,” said Etihad Aviation Group CEO Tony Douglas.

Al Nassr was formed in 1955 and plays at the King Fahd Stadium and Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium. It’s team colours are yellow and blue and it known as ‘The International’ due to its success in global competitions.

The agreement extends Etihad’s sports sponsorship portfolio, which includes English Premier League Club Manchester City’s shirt and stadium, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

Its Dubai rival Emirates also has a significant presence in global sport sponsorship through deals with football teams including Arsenal FC, Real Madrid and golf, tennis, rugby, cricket, horse racing and motorsports events.

Read: Dubai’s Emirates renews Arsenal sponsorship in one of football’s ‘biggest ever’ deals

Etihad currently operates 77 flights a week to Saudi from Abu Dhabi including three a day to Riyadh, three to Jeddah, four to Dammam and seasonal flights to Madinah.

Read: Abu Dhabi’s Etihad deploys more flights to Jeddah, Madinah for Hajj

The airline is currently in the middle of a restructuring after posting a $1.5bn annual loss in June.

Read: Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways announces leadership changes, job cuts expected<

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