In March 2008, Etihad Airways strengthen its ties with Ireland with the announcement that it had become proud sponsors of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship.
The airline signed an initial two-year deal with the GAA with an option to extend for a third and fourth year. Etihad took up the option of a one year extension in 2010 and a second extension for the 2011 Championship.
In November 2008, Etihad Airways’ marketing activity in relation to its sponsorship of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship won the European Sponsorship of the year award in the Business to Consumer category. The Championship is one of Ireland’s oldest sporting competitions, with the first final taking place back in 1887.
The partnership has been highly successful with Abu Dhabi hosting the M Donnelly Inter-Provincial Hurling Championship in 2011 between Leinster and Connacht.
In 2012, Etihad announced a multi-million euro 5 year extension of their strategic partnership to encompass sponsorship of the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship and becoming the naming rights sponsor to the spectacular new Skyline landmark tourist attraction atop of Croke Park Stadium.
September 07 and 27, 2014 Etihad Airways created a world first when both this year’s hurling final and replay were screened live on a commercial flight for the first time.
Etihad Airways teamed up with RTÉ Sport so that both matches would be broadcast live on Etihad Airways’ E-BOX inflight entertainment systems. Every Etihad Airways flight on their global network screened matches.
March 2015, saw another World first by Etihad as they hosted the inaugural GAA World Games in Abu Dhabi.
29 teams from around the World flew to Abu Dhabi to play for the title of GAA World Champions.
The games were held in Zayed Sports Stadium.