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New York City FC’s jerseys will have the same color — and same sponsor — as sister club Manchester City.
The franchise set to join Major League Soccer next season today announced Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, as its founding partner and jersey sponsor. It also unveiled the jerseys it will wear when it plays at the home of the part-owner New York Yankees.
NYCFC is controlled by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who also owns Manchester City. The defending English Premier League champions play in Etihad Stadium.
“Our first home jersey is a huge part of our identity and we are proud that our kit and our team will be so strongly associated with a partner of the caliber of Etihad Airways,” NYCFC’s Chief Business Officer Tim Pernetti said in a statement.
Terms of the team’s five-year deal with Etihad, which it called the club’s “most significant partnership to date,” were not disclosed. Earlier this month the team announced Dutch brewing company Heineken International as its official beer partner.
Manufactured by MLS partner Adidas AG, the team’s home jerseys will be the same light blue worn by Manchester City. The club badge, chosen by fans and inspired by the old New York City subway tokens, will appear in the upper corner, with Etihad’s branding also featured.
“We are delighted with the look and feel of our first home uniform, which we hope our fans will love as much as we do,” NYCFC’s Sporting Director Claudio Reyna said in a release.
In addition to the team’s jerseys, Etihad will have signs at Yankee Stadium on gameday, and across the franchise’s digital platforms. Etihad will benefit from player appearances and access to team training sessions.
NYCFC this year signed 32-year-old David Villa, the Spanish national team’s all-time leading scorer, as its first player. The following month it added former Chelsea midfielder and English national team captain Frank Lampard, a 36-year-old currently playing with Manchester City.
Etihad began operation in 2003 and carried 11.5 million passengers last year. It holds equity investments in Airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia, Aer Lingus, Air Serbia and Jet Airways.
–With assistance from Scott Soshnick in New York.
To contact the reporter on this story: Eben Novy-Williams in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at email@example.com.