Qatar Airways is the latest airline keen to be a part of the nation’s most popular sporting code with a new three-year sponsorship deal with Australian Football League club the Sydney Swans.
Sydney Swans chairman Andrew Pridham said Qatar would be the club’s official international airline partner until the end of the 2019 season.
“This is a significant partnership for our football club and, as the airline’s own brand message suggests, we’re excited to be Going Places Together,” Pridham said in a statement.
Pridham made the official announcement at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday alongside Qatar country manager for Australasia Adam Radwanski, Swans club chief executive Andrew Ireland, coach John Longmire and captain Kieren Jack.
While the Sydney Swans represents the oneworld alliance member’s first AFL sponsorship, Qatar is not the only airline with links to the AFL, with Virgin Australia the official sponsor of the league and with individual sponsorships with the Gold Coast Suns, Greater Western Sydney Giants, Carlton and West Coast.
Also, Emirates sponsors Collingwood and China Southern is a sponsor of the Melbourne Football Club.
Meanwhile, Virgin alliance partner and shareholder Etihad Airways is the naming rights sponsor of Etihad Stadium located in Melbourne’s Docklands precinct.
“We strongly believe in connecting with our global travellers through their passion for sport, and have been looking for the right partner for Qatar Airways in Australia’s sports arena,” Al Baker said in a statement.
“We look forward to sharing in our travellers’ love for football, supporting their commitment to the Sydney Swans and in building an even stronger brand connection with our Australian market through this multi-year partnership.”
In addition to the two new routes, Qatar also flies to Perth and Melbourne from its Doha hub.
The Swans sit on top of the AFL ladder with one round remaining before the finals series.