25 Mar 2014 11:00
ABU DHABI / NEW YORK (March 25, 2014) – Major League Soccer (MLS) and Soccer United Marketing, MLS’ commercial arm, today announced a multi-year partnership deal with Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates.
- First multi-year sports partnership in the U.S.
for Abu Dhabi-based carrier.
- MLS agreement underlines Etihad Airways’ commitment
to the U.S. market.
- MLS and Etihad Airways to work on grassroots
soccer projects together.
Within the new agreement, Etihad
Airways becomes the official airline partner of MLS in the United States. It is
the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s first multi-year sports sponsorship in the territory
and one that underscores its expanding commitment to the U.S. market.
Etihad Airways and MLS will
also work together on a number of activations and initiatives including
community programs, as well as hosting competitions and promotions for flights
and holidays with MLS fans.
James Hogan, President and
Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Etihad Airways has a growing portfolio
of sports properties that cover the globe and we’re delighted to now add Major
League Soccer, a leading international sportsbrand, to this group.”
The agreement will see the
Etihad Airways logo and its messages beamed across LED pitch-side advertising during
nationally televised MLS matches, as well as across national broadcast partners
and MLS Digital Properties, the leading online soccer platform in North
Major League Soccer
represents the sport’s highest level in the United States and Canada, composed
of 19 teams, with 16 in the U.S. and three in Canada. The MLS regular season
runs from March to October, with the MLS Cup Playoffs taking place in November
MLS’ global presence
continues to increase with the announcements of expansion clubs, New York City
FC and Orlando City Soccer Club.
Mr. Hogan added: “The MLS
partnership will enable Etihad Airways to continue to build its brand in the
United States, a key market for us, and offers an ideal platform to interact
with the millions of sports fans and communities across the country and showcase
the airline and services.”
Don Garber, Commissioner of
Major League Soccer, said: “We are excited to welcome Etihad Airways as the
official airline partner of Major League Soccer in the United States and are
proud to be the first major sports association in the U.S. for such a
prestigious global company. On behalf of our clubs, our players and our
millions of fans, we welcome Etihad Airways to the MLS family and look forward
to working with them to help grow their business in this region.”
Etihad Airways currently
operates daily flights between its hub at Abu Dhabi Airport and Chicago, New
York and Washington, D.C. In June 2014 it will launch daily flights to Los
Angeles and in December it will start a three flights-a-week service to
The airline has a premium
lounge at Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C. and has plans to open one at New
York’s JFK Airport and Los Angeles’ LAX.
In addition to MLS, Etihad
Airways’ sponsorship portfolio includes the Nation’s Triathlon in Washington,
D.C., the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Etihad Stadium in Manchester, Manchester
City Football Club, All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship,Harlequins Rugby
Club, and the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand