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Etihad makes rugby debut with Harlequins

The national airline of the United Arab Emirates becomes Quins main sponsor in a three year deal.

Eithad Airways

Etihad Airways has extended its sponsorship deal with Aviva Premiership rugby union team, Harlequins, until June 2014.

The Abu Dhabi-based airline began the partnership with London side Harlequins in 2007, with an initial three-year agreement followed by a one year extension last summer. By 2014, Etihad Airways will have been main sponsors of Harlequins for seven seasons in a row.

Within the details of the partnership the Etihad logo will continue to be displayed on the front of the famous quartered 'Quins' shirt as well as branding throughout the stadium.

The East Stand of the Twickenham Stoop ground will continue to be named the Etihad Stand and Harlequins players will once again visit Abu Dhabi during the winter and off-season.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways' Chief Executive Officer said: "We are delighted to further extend the sponsorship deal with Harlequins - a partnership that has exceeded expectations and provided both parties with fantastic brand exposure on a global level.

"The partnership has produced many memorable moments, such as the annual Curtain Raiser Cup in the UK and the Rugby Festival in the UAE in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Harlequins, which saw thousands of youngsters introduced to rugby.

"We look forward to hosting more community events in the coming three years and welcoming the Quins playing and coaching staff back to Etihad's home-base of Abu Dhabi."

Commenting on the extension Mark Evans, Harlequins Chief Executive, said: "Our relationship with Etihad Airways has been an excellent one for the last four years and we are delighted to have secured the airline's support going forward for the next three seasons. I leave the club in very good hands and I know both parties will both benefit hugely from this ongoing partnership."

"Etihad is an ideal sponsor for Quins and we are really looking forward to working with the team to ensure that both parties drive further value from the relationship and enjoy each other's successes."

The highly successful junior rugby tournament, hosted by Harlequins on match days, will continue as the Etihad Airways Curtain Raiser Cup, with the grassroots tournament attracting more than 25,000 people to the Twickenham Stoop each season.

Within the UAE Etihad has also activated the partnership through the Etihad Airways Junior Rugby Festival which has taken place in Abu Dhabi during November.

The festival consists of two key events - the Etihad Harlequins Rugby Schools and the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Harlequins Junior Rugby Tournament.

Quins players such as Jordan Turner-Hall, Will Skinner and James Percival as well as club coaches, have taken part in the events which have attracted more than 1,600 youngsters each year.

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