The last Formula-1 race of the season was the first ever Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. The state-of-the-art, brand new circuit at Yas Island hosted the already World Champions Brawn GP team and Jenson Button, but from a sponsorship point of view – Etihad Airways took it all.
The champion Brawn GP started out this season as a new team, with practically no sponsors. The first to sign up was Virgin and we were hoping to see some Virgin Atlantic or other Virgin airlines branding on those cars at some point in the season – which did not really happen. On the other hand, the Abu Dhabi based Etihad Airways has been actively participating in Formula-1 – as an on-car sponsor of Scuderia Ferrari – showing Etihad logos on the front and tail wings of the car, the helmets of the drivers and also on the shoulder of the drivers’ overalls.
Track side Advertisement
Etihad was also the naming sponsor of the first “2009 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix” – which they have used as a truly worldwide global campaign opportunity. All those who have watched the race have seen the Etihad logos all around the circuit on static displays as well as on dynamic giant LCD displays.
Special Aircraft Liveries
And where can an airline advertise any more visible than on its own aircraft? Etihad Airways has prepared two special livery airplanes over the last year to support its high profile involvement with the first ever Abu Dhabi Formula-1 Grand Prix. The intercontinental ambassador of Etihad is an Airbus A340-600 (registration: A6-EHJ), the currently largest airplane of Etihad that has been carrying a special livery for almost a year that has a shaded background (from white through red to black) and shows a checkered flag on its tail.
Etihad has also designed a special livery for one of its smaller planes, an Airbus A320 (registration: A6-EIB), also known as “Etihad’s Black Jet”. The plane is painted in full black livery, with a Formula-1 car on its tail
Congratulations to Etihad for showing the world how to use Formula-1 for a truly, global promotion campaign!