(05 May 2021) Etihad Airways has become one of the first airlines in the world to partner an esports team.
The national airline of the UAE has sponsored the World Champion Esports team, Team Nigma.
The deal follows news that the team will be relocating to Abu Dhabi, under their partnership with AD Gaming. The collaborative initiative pioneered by twofour54 Abu Dhabi, aggregates the emirate’s drive to build a thriving gaming and esports ecosystem in the region.
Mohamed Morad, Co-Founder of Team Nigma, said, “As a kid I dreamt of becoming a pilot so partnering up with my favourite airline is special on both a personal and a professional level. When competing on the highest level, our team and staff constantly need to travel around the world to face the top Dota 2 teams and the immense resources and expertise Etihad Airways will provide us, are going to help our players and staff reach new levels.”
For the next five years, Team Nigma’s home will be Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, where they will use a dedicated training facility.
The team’s support staff of coaches, analysts and content creators will also be based at the new gaming hub located at twofour54’s Yas Creative Hub, which is set to open in Q4 of this year.
Amina Taher, Vice President Brand, Marketing and Sponsorships at Etihad Airways, said: “The gaming industry is rapidly gaining prominence, and in line with Abu Dhabi’s investment in the industry, Etihad is proud to lead the way and be the first major global airline to partner with an esports team. This is another proof point of our industry leading approach to sports sponsorships. Etihad is renowned for partnering with world-class sports teams and events, from Manchester City Football Club to the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. We see the value in sports-based sponsorships which unite and engage with communities, and we look forward to what the future holds with Team Nigma.”