It hasn’t been an easy decade for the airline industry, yet Etihad Airways was founded in 2003 and somehow found an extra £150 million ($241 million) to hand over to Manchester City of the English Premier League so that the club’s stadium will be called Etihad Stadium for the next 10 years, according to Reuters.
The deal also found Manchester City, which is owned by trillionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, getting its own plane out of the deal, “an Airbus A-330 in the team’s sky blue colors with their name and badge emblazoned on the sides,” Reuters reports. Etihad, by the way, means “union” in Arabic.
The governing body of European soccer, UEFA, will look at the deal to be sure it is totally up to code at this point. The influx of cash will help the Citizens sign better on-field talent to help take down their archrival Manchester United. Man U. finished first in the Premier League this past season while Manchester City finished third.
The previous record for a naming-rights deal in Britain was by another airline, Emirates Airways, with the Arsenal football club. It was for £100 million and 15 years.