On 29th April 2016 in New York and Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, announced a comprehensive new global agreement with WME | IMG to become a major long-term partner to the fashion industry by supporting 17 fashion week events around the world annually.
Under the agreement, which is the first multinational, multi-year airline sponsorship supporting the fashion industry, Etihad Airways will become the official airline of fashion week events in New York, London, Milan, Berlin, Sydney and Mumbai. New York Fashion Week includes: The Shows, MADE Fashion Week, London Fashion Week, London Collections: Men, Milan Fashion Week, Milano Moda Uomo, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia and Lakme Fashion Week (Mumbai).
Etihad Airways Partners, which includes seven airlines in which it holds minority equity stakes, will also be party to Etihad Airways’ agreement with WME | IMG, whose fashion portfolio includes 30+ fashion events around the world and affiliates IMG Models, Art + Commerce and The Wall Group, which manage fashion’s icons across modelling, photography and styling.
Alitalia, Jet Airways, airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, NIKI and Etihad Regional will help fashion’s insiders arrive, connect and present at the industry’s key moments throughout the year.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “This is a ground-breaking new partnership for Etihad Airways. Together with WME | IMG, they have created a unique marketing relationship that now connects the international fashion community across the key markets.
“This is a landmark deal because it goes beyond traditional sponsorship and is a world-first agreement for an airline group. As a result of the business model, Etihad Airways Partners will collectively unveil a wide range of exciting new fashion initiatives for guests in our home market of Abu Dhabi and throughout the world.”
Ariel Emanuel, Co-CEO of WME | IMG, added: “Etihad Airways is the perfect partner for an industry that values creativity, design and outstanding service. We are proud to be working with them to develop programs that are tailor-made for the fashion industry.”
Etihad Airways and its Partner airlines will develop travel-oriented relationships with fashion designers, models, stylists, journalists, photographers, suppliers and sponsors. In addition, Etihad Airways will create original guest-focused promotions and offers for the industry at large.
Etihad Airways will debut its fashion week presence during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, which runs from 15 to 20 May, 2016 in Sydney. From there, Etihad Airways will sponsor five additional events in 2016 – in Berlin, Mumbai, New York, London and Milan – before extending to a total of 17 men’s and women’s fashion events in 2017.
This major new initiative marks a core element of Etihad Airways’ sponsorship strategy. This will see increased collaboration across the Etihad Airways Partners, bringing both brand development opportunities and economies of scale to all partners.
Moving forward, Etihad Airways is putting additional focus on three core lifestyle interests that drive competitive advantage from sponsorship: food, fashion and football.
In March 2016, Etihad Airways announced a multi-year partnership with WME | IMG’s Taste Festivals Ltd, organisers of the world’s leading restaurant events since 2004. The airline, along with many of its Etihad Airways Partners, will have a presence at 14 Taste Festivals in 2016.
Etihad Airways has a number of football partnerships, including shirt sponsor and official partner of Manchester City Football Club, Manchester City Women’s Football Club, New York City Football Club, Melbourne City Football Club and Melbourne City Women’s Football Club. Etihad Airways is also the official airline partner of Al Ain Football Club, Al Ittihad Football Club and Major League Soccer in the United States.
The airline also remains committed to key sponsorships which promote Abu Dhabi as a business and leisure destination. Its many current partnerships include Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, Abu Dhabi Tour, Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship and Mubadala World Tennis Championship.