Etihad Airways has signed a new multi-million dollar agreement to extend to 2019 its naming and marketing rights for Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium, the city’s premier sports and entertainment venue. The five-year extension was announced in Melbourne today by James Hogan, President and Chief Executive of Etihad Airways, and Ian Collins AM, Chief Executive of the Melbourne Stadiums Limited, the company that operates Etihad Stadium. Hogan said: “Placing the Etihad name on this world class sports and entertainment stadium, as well as activating our marketing and hospitality rights, has provided Etihad Airways with a solid platform to build our brand across the state of Victoria and the whole of Australia. “The partnership with Melbourne Stadiums Limited gives Etihad Airways unparalleled exposure in Australia, one of the most important routes in our network, and we are delighted to extend the naming agreement for Etihad Stadium until 2019.” Etihad Airways became the stadium’s naming rights sponsor on March 1, 2009, the same month it commenced non-stop flights between Melbourne and Abu Dhabi. By 2019, the Abu Dhabi-based airline will have sponsored the stadium continuously for 10 years. Hogan added: “More than 250 arena events have taken place at Etihad Stadium during the past three years highlighting the vital role it plays in the local community, and we look forward to strengthening those ties further in the years to come.” Collins said: “Renewing the agreement is in many ways more exciting than when it was first signed in 2009 as it demonstrates how successful the partnership has been for Melbourne Stadiums Limited and Etihad Airways. “During this time, the stadium and Etihad Airways have enhanced their reputations for delivering first class services to an international audience. Visitors from across the world now regularly fly to Melbourne, with Etihad Airways, to attend an event at the stadium during their trip.” More than 150 AFL premiership season matches have taken place at the stadium since 2009, as well as 39 soccer matches, which included internationals against Serbia, the English Premier League’s Fulham and David Beckham’s LA Galaxy.