By Max Clarke
Manchester City F.C. are to rename their grounds to Etihad Stadium following a 10-year deal with the Abu Dhabi-based airline.
The move mirrors Arsenal F.C. and the renaming of their North London stadium to Emirates Stadium following a similar naming rights deal signed in 2004 with Etihad’s rival, Emirates Airline.
"We are delighted to be expanding our relationship with Etihad Airways through this comprehensive partnership agreement,” Garry Cook, Manchester City’s CEO, said in a statement on the club’s website. “Most importantly, in addition to delivering significant revenue at a key stage in the Club's evolution, the agreement creates exciting opportunities for our two organisations to cooperate more deeply commercially and on media and community initiatives in the future."
While the sum has not been disclosed, Goal.com say the 10-year partnership exceeds Emirates’ deal with Arsenal in value.
“Etihad's work with Manchester City Football Club has already yielded a significant return on our investment and we are thrilled to build on our relationship,” said Etihad’s CEO, James Hogan. “Their well-established name and loyal fan base have allowed us to tap into a new and increasing global audience. In addition to being a sensible alignment for our brand from a business perspective, it is also one that we can get very excited about, especially at a time when MCFC's winning attitude is bringing increased success for the team on the national and international stage."