The GAA has announced a new long-term association with Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates.
The multi-million Euro deal will see Etihad Airways sponsor the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship for the next five years, while the company will also become the naming rights sponsor of the spectacular new Skyline landmark tourist attraction at Croke Park, which will open in June, 2012.
Speaking at Thursday's announcement, GAA President Christy Cooney said: We are delighted to confirm Etihad Airways’ extension to their sponsorship of our GAA Hurling Championship and look forward to working in partnership with them for at least five more years.
"In their time as partners with the GAA, Etihad Airways has brought a fresh approach to the promotion of the unique game that is hurling and their success in involving our clubs and supporters in their innovative and imaginative community initiatives has been outstanding.
"Equally, taking the M Donnelly Inter-provincial final in 2009 to Abu Dhabi helped us to showcase the game to a wider audience.
"Etihad Airways’ support of our new Skyline facility is a further acknowledgement of their commitment to Gaelic games and in this instance to Croke Park in particular and we look forward to many more years in fruitful partnership with this leading international brand."
James Hogan, Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, added: "I am delighted that we are strengthening our relationship with the GAA and extending a partnership that has worked so well for both organisations.
"Hurling is one of the world’s most remarkable sports and it epitomises the passion of the Irish people who have also been great supporters of Etihad Airways.
"This strategic partnership is an example of the way we try to embed ourselves into the local culture of our destination markets and work with the local community."