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ETIHAD enlist in the club of Ferrari Formula 1's sponsor

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  • ETIHAD enlist in the club of Ferrari Formula 1's sponsor

    PICTURES: Etihad Airways signs three year sponsorship deal with Ferrari
    By Max Kingsley-Jones

    Abu Dhabi's international carrier Etihad Airways has switched its Formula 1 allegiance to Ferrari as the 2008 Grand Prix season begins in Melbourne, signing a three-year sponsorship deal with the current world champions.

    Etihad entered F1 last year as a major sponsor of back-of-the-grid minnows Spyker, in parallel with the deal for Abu Dhabi to host its first Grand Prix in 2009. Spyker has since been taken by a group that includes VJ Mallya, boss of UB Group which owns Kingfisher Airlines.


    Etihad

    With the Kingfisher brand now prominent on the renamed Force India Formula 1 team, Etihad has found a new berth at Ferrari. Its name will feature prominently on the rear wing and side of the F2008 F1 racer from this weekend and from later this season on the helmets and clothing of drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa.

    "Sports sponsorship is a major part of Etihad's marketing strategy and the growing association we are building with Formula 1 is a key driver to enable us to reach a global audience," says the airline's chief executive James Hogan.

    Abu Dhabi already has strong links with the Prancing Horse as government-owned Mubadala Development Company holds a 5% stake in the company and is a sponsor of the F1 team. Ferrari is developing a close association with Abu Dhabi where it is building a $600 million theme park that will open in 2009 offering 24 attractions.

    For more images take a look at AirSpace's Formula 1 gallery
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