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Manchester City launch membership programme for UAE fans

Wed 26th Oct 2011 | Money & Finance

Manchester City FC has launched Sky Blue – the club’s first ever international membership programme, with specific benefits for fans in the UAE.

When in the UAE, Sky Blue members will enjoy the opportunity to meet other supporters at big match TV screening events, featuring special guests, prize competitions and merchandise discounts.

When they want to watch City live in action at the magnificent Etihad Stadium, discounts of up to 40 per cent will be available on Etihad Airways flights.

Other benefits of the Sky Blue program include: free access to Fan Zones;earning Etihad Guest bonus miles when visiting Fan Zones; using Etihad Guest miles to purchase Manchester City merchandise; entry to exclusive competitions that offer amazing Manchester City prizes;discounts on merchandise at the City Store in Abu Dhabi.

Since Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs, bought the Club, links between Manchester City and Abu Dhabi and the UAE have been firmly established.

The fanbase has grown rapidly following a series of City events, star player visits and the opening of the club’s first retail store outside the UK.

The Sky Blue membership scheme – open to everyone in the UAE – will take the relationship even further and was revealed by Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini and the team.

“I am a regular visitor to Abu Dhabi on club business and it is exciting for everyone that we will now really be able to connect with fans there,” said Mancini.

“Manchester City is a club with great ambition and we are becoming increasingly well known all over the world – especially now we are in the Champions League.

“But it feels right to launch Sky Blue in the UAE as we know people there are already passionate about City and feel loyal to the club.

City captain Vincent Kompany added: “Most of the players have been to the UAE – either for club work or on holiday – and they all enjoyed it.

“I was there last year for the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the love for sport and football is obvious. It was great to see how many people are City fans and how they follow and support the team from thousands of miles away.”

“Sky Blue will make them really part of City and it’s natural to launch it in Abu Dhabi and across the UAE. Hopefully we will all get the chance to get out there and meet as many fans as possible.”

Free of charge, everyone in the country can now sign-up for Sky Blue and be part of one of the world’s most exciting football clubs.

Etihad Chief Commercial Officer Peter Baumgartner said: “Our partnership with Manchester City has allowed us to bring wider brand awareness for Etihad on a global platform, particularly in the UK market through their devoted fan base, so we are thrilled to reciprocate this by supporting the team’s presence in the UAE.

“When we announced our 10-year partnership with the Club in July, we said that this would not just be about putting the Etihad name on a stadium. Rather, by participating in programmes such as this and engaging with the fans, providing added benefits for the Sky Blue members, we are creating a brand synergy that goes far beyond the traditional sponsor relationship.”

Manchester City game screening events for members will be held in Abu Dhabi with guest appearances, video messages from star players and prize competitions.

To see a full list of benefits and sign-up go to www.skyblue.mcfc.com. The first 1,000 members will receive a special Sky Blue welcome pack.

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If you have any football business related news stories you’d like to share then please contact us –agourley@fcbusiness.co.uk or ryan@fcbusiness.co.uk

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