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Brands & Sponsorship, Leaders Podcast, Sport Business, Sports Marketing | Apr 13, 2018
Episode 34: In conversation with Etihad's VP of Marketing Partnerships.

Patrick Pierce is Vice President of Marketing Partnerships at Etihad Airways, and oversees the Abu Dhabi carrier’s sponsorship activities across sport, culture and entertainment.

By James Emmett

Standout partnerships currently include deals with Manchester City, the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix, the Abu Dhabi Tour cycling race, Major League Soccer, the Special Olympics, and the Washington Wizards and Capitals NBA and NHL teams.

Chicagoan Pierce joined Etihad in 2015, having previously held sponsorship roles with McDonald’s Allstate, and Aon – where he put together the high profile shirt sponsorship deal with Manchester United.

On the conversational agenda:

– the differences between the marketing and partnerships approach at Manchester United and Manchester City;

– striking a balance between pursuing pure commercial objectives through partnerships and building Abu Dhabi as a global destination;

– Pierce’s approach to activation tactics;

– forging a USP in a competitive regional airline market;

– the best way to approach Etihad with marketing opportunities;

– the airline’s marketing obligation to the Emirate and how it makes its sponsorship decisions;

– Etihad’s innovative role as both sponsor and rights holder, and the new set of rights that Pierce and his team are marketing.

Pierce is one of the industry leaders taking a role in the judging process for the Leaders Sports Awards. Categories include content creation, on-screen experience, live experience, sponsorship and innovation. Nominations close in May. Go on – get yourself a gong.

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