Mumbai Indians gear up for IPL title defence with double deal

Indian Premier League cricket franchise Mumbai Indians has enhanced its commercial portfolio ahead of the defence of its title by agreeing new partnerships with Etihad Airways and mobile communications company BlackBerry.

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has joined forces with its equity partner, Jet Airways, in an agreement that names both firms as principal sponsors and official airlines of the Mumbai team.

This is the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s first high profile sports sponsorship in the region and one that underscores its expanding commitment to the Indian market. Etihad Airways currently serves a total of 10 Indian cities which includes Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kozhikode, Mumbai, New Delhi, Trivandrum and the recently launched route to Jaipur.

James Hogan, president and chief executive of Etihad Airways, said: “As India continues to play an important part in the growth of Etihad Airways, this new sponsorship deal provides an excellent opportunity for us to reinforce our global brand in India, cement our partnership with Jet Airways and forge close and long-lasting relationships with the Indian travelling public, many of whom we know are huge cricket fans.”

Among the highlights of the sponsorship agreement will be the display of extensive Etihad Airways and Jet Airways branding and messaging across LED pitch-side advertising and on giant screens in the stadium. This will occur during the Mumbai Indians home matches. In addition, the airlines’ logos will be prominently displayed on the teams’ shirts and merchandise. 

Meanwhile, BlackBerry’s partnership with Mumbai will result in the launch of an exclusive BBM Channel called ‘Mumbai Indians’ to engage and drive deeper connect with the team’s fans and followers across the globe.

BlackBerry has announced a number of contests which will provide exclusive experiences to Mumbai Indians BBM channel followers. The contests will allow 11 winners to watch the team practice from their dug out. There will also be contest give-aways such as autographed bats, shirts and match tickets. The BBM channel will allow fans to follow Mumbai updates during the IPL, experience exclusive content and have access to team members channel posts on given days.

Terms of both deals were undisclosed.