Etihad zooms into Formula 1

Etihad-SpykerW200.jpgJames Hogan has barely got his feet under the desk at Abu Dhabi government-owned Etihad Airways, and already he’s splashing the cash. Hogan has just signed a three-year deal for sponsorship of the Spyker Formula One Grand Prix racing team in Melbourne.

But there is more to this deal than meets the eye. The Mubadala Development Company, which is wholly owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi, owns a 17% stake in Spyker. And Abu Dhabi property development company Aldar, which is also controlled by Mubadala, will also be a main sponsor of the Spyker team.
There is nothing like self-promotion.

According to Hogan, the deal is intended to raise consumer awareness of Etihad ahead of Abu Dhabi hosting a Grand Prix for the first time in 2009. Hogan says: “Spyker is a small team determined to make a big mark in Formula 1 and all of us at Etihad are excited at the prospect of seeing Christian Albers and Adrian Sutil wear our livery and drive in the Etihad Aldar Spyker team this season.”

Colin Kolles, Etihad Aldar Spyker’s team principal and managing director, said the partnership guarantees stability and financial security for the coming years.

“We are proud to be associated with Etihad, one of Abu Dhabi’s major brands, a company that has shown a determination and desire to succeed in its industry sector. This drive matches Spyker’s philosophy and brand values perfectly and I hope we will both continue to progress together for many years.”

Both Etihad and Aldar logos will be on the team’s cars.

The deal follows Etihad’s sponsorship of other sporting events, including the Abu Dhabi Golf Championships, F1 Powerboat racing and Al Jazira Sports Club.

Top picture shows James Hogan (right) shaking on the new sponsorship deal with Victor Muller, chief executive Spyker Cars, at the Australian F1 Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne.

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