of Bahrain Grand Prix
Airline's support reinforces Bahrain as Middle East's Home of Motorsport
Gulf Air, the national carrier of theKingdom of Bahrain, has signed a new five-year deal with the Formula One Association extending the existing sponsorship of the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.
Gulf Air has been the title sponsor of the Bahrain Grand Prix since it made history in April 2004 as the first Formula One Grand Prix to be held inthe Middle East at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC).
Since then the airline has been instrumental in the success of the event and the economicbenefits it has brought to the Bahrain economy. The race has also become a firm favourite amongst fans from all over the world and Gulf Air is proud to have brought so many first-time visitors to Bahrain to watch the race and enjoy the many other world-class facilities the country offers.
Speaking during a signing ceremony in Shanghai prior to the 2008 Formula 1 Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix, Gulf Air Chief Executive Mr. Björn Näf said,
"We are delighted and proud to extend our association with the sport of Formula One. Business Friendly Bahrain is the home of motorsport in the Middle East and our continued alliance with this world-class event reinforces our pioneering spirit and our support of the growth and development of the Kingdom of Bahrain."
Gulf Air is a proud ambassador for Bahrain and takes its role in supporting the country's diversification in areas such as tourism very seriously.Motorsport events such as the F1 draw thousands of fans from across the Middle East and the international community allowing the Kingdom to reap the associated economic benefits. Indeed, Bahrain is experiencing a real boom in tourism and business travel and Gulf Air is a hugely important part of that.
"We look forward to welcoming visitors to Bahrain, whether Formula One related or not for many years to come." concluded Mr.Näf.
Welcoming the announcement, Formula One Group CEO Mr. Bernie Ecclestone said: "We are delighted that Gulf Air has extended its title sponsorship of the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. The race in Bahrain is one ofthe highlights of the Formula One calendar and I am looking forward to going back there in April for the 2009 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix"
Commenting on the signed agreement, Patrick McNally, Chief Executive of Allsport Management welcomed Gulf Air's continued support saying:
"Gulf Air has a 58 year history in the aviation industry and one of the largest networks across the Middle East. We are therefore excited and privileged that they will continue as title sponsors of the Bahrain Grand Prix.Investing in Formula One continues to make financial sense for companiesand the airline's participation in this international sporting event, followed by millions of people around the world, offers Gulf Air the opportunity to embrace a global audience, building its brand globally anddrive sales."
Gulf Air's sponsorship of the Bahrain Grand Prix is one of a number of sports-related sponsorship deals that the airline is involved in. It is also the Shirt Sponsor for Queens Park Rangers Football Club in the UK, ar elationship that not only raises the profile of the airline in a keymarket, but also brings benefits to the local Bahrain community in the form of joint initiatives and programmes between the club and the airline.