ETIHAD AIRWAYS WILL continue to sponsor the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship for the next five years after agreeing a new multi-million euro strategic partnership with the GAA.
The deal, announced by outgoing GAA President Christy Cooney and Etihad chief executive James Hogan, will also see the Emirati airline take naming rights of the Croke Park Skyline when the tourist attraction opens later this summer.
After setting up in the Irish market in 2007, Etihad came on board as one of three Championship partners alongside long-time sponsors Guinness and RTÉ the following summer. RTÉ has since been replaced by Centra while Guinness, whose existing deal expired last autumn, have recommitted to the partnership.
Etihad currently operates 10 flights a week between Dublin and Abu Dhabi, and has flown more than 750,000 passengers between the two capital cities over the last five years.
“Sport and business is about winning and this is a winning partnership,” Hogan said at this morning’s announcement in Croke Park. “It’s a commitment to sport, it’s a commitment to the community.”
The partnership between the GAA and Etihad has “probably evolved into one of the most outstanding partnerships in Irish sport,” Cooney added. ”We are a community-based organisation and we welcome your support for not alone the GAA in Ireland but the GAA throughout the world.”
The Etihad Airways Skyline at Croke Park is due to open in June and expected to feature on the route when the Olympic torch visits Dublin. Seventeen-storeys high, the skyline will involves a rooftop tour of the stadium, five different viewing platforms atop three stands and a suspended walkway.