Melbourne City land lucrative Etihad deal

Melbourne City continues to impose itself on the sporting landscape, announcing a lucrative five-year partnership with Etihad Airways.

The A-League outfit is reaping the rewards of having the same owners as English powerhouse Manchester City, with the UAE national airline now sponsoring both clubs.

Etihad Airways announced on Monday it would be the primary shirt sponsor for the Melbourne club's home and away kit in a deal that also embraces children’s football schools and fan competitions.

The announcement was made before the team flies out with Etihad on Monday night for the club’s pre-season tour of England.

One of the giants of sports funding, the airline's sponsorship portfolio includes Premier League champions, Manchester City and their home ground at Etihad Stadium in Manchester.

Etihad Stadium (home to City’s derby rivals Melbourne Victory), the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, and the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix are in the mix.

The partnership and new team kit were unveiled on Monday by Melbourne City boss Scott Munn and President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways James Hogan at the football club’s AAMI Park home stadium.

Hogan said:  “Our new partnership with Melbourne City FC further strengthens our ties with this great city and, we hope, will support the club and its army of fans in their bid to win the Hyundai A-League."

The deal underlines the club’s growing potential both on and off the pitch, said Munn.