LET players welcome the partnership announcement with Etihad Airways cabin crew, and from left to right, Ivan Khodabakhsh, CEO of LET, Mona Walid, Vice President of Talent Acquisition for Etihad Airways, and Patrick Pierce, Vice President of Sponsorship for Etihad Airways.
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced that it will become the Official Airline of the Ladies European Tour (LET) in 2016, Europe’s leading women’s professional golf tour.
The LET was originally formed as the WPGA in 1978 and over the last 36 years has developed into an internationally recognised sporting organisation. In 2015 it held more than 20 tournaments in 18 different countries for a membership base of more than 30 different nationalities.
Etihad Airways is already an active participant in global sports and is aiming to lead by example through partnerships with female athletes, events, teams and tours, such as LET.
Etihad Airways currently sponsors Manchester City Women’s Football Club, Melbourne City Women’s Football Club and the Washington Mystics of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).
Women are a major part of the Etihad Airways workforce and the airline is increasingly recognised as an employer of choice within the Middle East region. Over 8,000 females, of 144 nationalities, are already part of the airline’s 24,000 strong workforce.
Patrick Pierce, Vice President of Sponsorship for Etihad Airways, said: “The airline partners with a variety of sports properties around the world including football, cricket, Formula 1, basketball, hockey and cycling. Our support of the Ladies European Tour provides yet another opportunity for Etihad to increase our brand and business profile to an international audience passionate about golf.”
Ivan Khodabakhsh, Chief Executive of the Ladies European Tour, said: “We are thrilled to enter a global partnership with Etihad Airways, one of the world’s truly great companies. The new relationship is testimony to the global appeal of the LET and the success of our players to connect with audiences in many markets around the world.”
The partnership sees Etihad Airways become the second LET Global Partner, joining Omega, the Official Timekeeper of the LET. Etihad Airways and LET will collaborate on a series of marketing and in-flight media initiatives promoting the tour’s roster of world-class female golfers.
Mona Walid, Vice President of Talent Acquisition for Etihad Airways, said: “Etihad Airways is committed to developing women in the workforce and the alignment of our sports sponsorships with our business goals is an important part of driving our wider company strategy. Over 1000 female employees already take part in our sports clubs in the UAE, and we will continue to utilize our involvement in the world of sport to engage our current and future employees.”
Earlier this year, Etihad Airways was ranked the 20th most sought-after employer in LinkedIn’s 2015 100 Most In-Demand Employers in its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) list. The airline made it to the top 25 EMEA list alongside notable companies such as Google, Apple and Unilever and was ahead of global brands such as Nike, Burberry and Twitter.