Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced that it will become the Official Airline of the Ladies European Tour (LET) in 2016, Europe’s leading women’s professional golf tour.
The LET was originally formed as
the WPGA in 1978 and over the last 36 years has developed into an
internationally recognised sporting organisation. In 2015 it held more
than 20 tournaments in 18 different countries for a membership base of more
than 30 different nationalities.
Etihad Airways is already an
active participant in global sports and is aiming to lead by example through partnerships
with female athletes, events, teams and tours, such as LET.
Airways currently sponsors Manchester City Women’s Football Club, Melbourne
City Women’s Football Club and the Washington Mystics of the Women’s National
Basketball Association (WNBA).
Women are a major part of the
Etihad Airways workforce and the airline is increasingly recognised as an
employer of choice within the Middle East region. Over 8,000 females, of 144
nationalities, are already part of the airline’s 24,000 strong workforce.
Patrick Pierce, Vice
President of Sponsorship for Etihad Airways, said: “The airline partners with a variety of sports properties around the world
including football, cricket, Formula 1, basketball, hockey and cycling. Our
support of the Ladies European Tour provides yet another opportunity for Etihad
to increase our brand and business profile to an international audience
passionate about golf.”
Ivan Khodabakhsh, Chief
Executive of the Ladies European Tour, said: “We are thrilled to enter a global
partnership with Etihad Airways, one of the world’s truly great companies. The new relationship is
testimony to the global appeal of the LET and the success of our players to
connect with audiences in many markets around the world.”
The partnership sees
Etihad Airways become the second LET Global Partner, joining Omega, the
Official Timekeeper of the LET. Etihad Airways and LET will collaborate on a
series of marketing and in-flight media initiatives promoting the tour’s roster
of world-class female golfers.
Walid, Vice President of Talent Acquisition for Etihad Airways, said: “Etihad
Airways is committed to developing women in the workforce and the alignment of
our sports sponsorships with our business goals is an important part of driving
our wider company strategy. Over 1000 female employees already take part in our
sports clubs in the UAE, and we will continue to utilize our involvement in the
world of sport to engage our current and future employees.”
Earlier this year, Etihad Airways was
ranked the 20th most sought-after employer in LinkedIn’s 2015 100 Most In-Demand
Employers in its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) list. The airline made
it to the top 25 EMEA list alongside notable companies such as Google, Apple
and Unilever and was ahead of global brands such as Nike, Burberry and Twitter.