Sport | Athletics

Etihad Airways in American sports sponsorship first

Abu Dhabi-based airline sponsors triathlon in Washington DC

  • Staff Report
  • Published: 16:40 July 13, 2013
  • Gulf News

Washington DC: Etihad Airways is the new official airline sponsor of Events DC’s Nation’s Triathlon, marking the Abu Dhabi-based firm’s first foray into sports sponsorship in the US capital.

The deal will involve the airline supporting the Nation’s Triathlon through flight provision for athletes and other promotional activities, as well as forging a partnership between the Nations’s Triathlon in Washington DC and the Tri Yas Triathlon in Abu Dhabi.

The announcement was made in Washington DC by Competitor Group, Inc. (CGI), which runs Events DC’s Nation’s Triathlon.

The 2013 edition of the Nation’s Triathlon will take place on Sunday, September 8, and will welcome 5,000 participants to one of the largest international distance triathlons in the US.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ chief commercial officer, said: “We are delighted to support the world-renowned Nation’s Triathlon in Washington DC and its sister race, Tri Yas, which takes place in our home of Abu Dhabi.

“Etihad Airways launched its daily service to Washington DC in March this year and the partnership gives us an ideal opportunity to support two fantastic sporting events in two of the world’s leading capital cities.”

Molly Quinn, Vice-President of Triathlon Events at CGI, said: “The Events DC Nation’s Triathlon has truly become a global event, welcoming participants to our Nation’s Capital from around the world.

“This airline partnership also creates a sister city relationship between two premier triathlons, the Events DC Nation’s Triathlon and Tri Yas, elevating each race’s opportunity for international exposure.

“Both events take place in capital cities and Etihad Airways will be the common link between these two triathlons in cities between which Etihad Airways recently started direct flight services.”

The Events DC Nation’s Triathlon features several races within a race, including a Gryphon Technologies Military Challenge, open to active duty military and veterans, Congressional Challenge, open to federal and Hill employees, the Commander-in-Chief Challenge, open to participants from the military academy tri teams, and the Etihad Airways Tri Club Challenge, for triathlon club members.

The Nation’s Triathlon is renowned for a scenic course that winds through the National Mall and Memorial Parks, including a 1.5 kilometre swim in the Potomac River, 40 kilometre bike course through the streets of Washington and Maryland, before finishing with a 10 kilometre run through Washington DC’s historical landmarks with a spectacular finish south of the FDR Memorial.

The event weekend kicks off with a two-day Health & Fitness Expo, which is open to the public on Friday, September 6 and Saturday, September 7 at the Washington Hilton. The free expo is where all race participants go to pick up their race packet and features more than 50 vendors with the latest in triathlon gear, nutrition samples, souvenirs and a series of interactive clinics.

Building on the success of its seven year partnership, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the official and exclusive charity of the event, which is the only triathlon in the country to benefit research toward a cure for blood cancers. Through the Team In Training programme, participants have raised more than $12 million (Dh44,071 million) for blood cancer research and patient service programmes.

For more information about the Events DC Nation’s Triathlon To Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, please visit NationsTri.com or follow @NationsTri on Twitter.

Gulf News
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