City Football Group (CFG), which includes 17/18 Premier League Champions Manchester City, MLS side New York City FC and the A-League’s Melbourne City, have teamed up with partners Etihad Airways and recruitment agency Hays for an all new content series – Flying Fit.
As part of the game, football players can clock up a number of air miles, both during the season and when representing their countries; Flying Fit provides insight into the tactics they use to ensure they are ready to play – and win.
In 2016, City Football Group’s Global Football department, who provide footballing IP and “know-how” to the Group’s clubs, identified a need to understand the effects of travel on its players and how they can maintain peak performance when travelling. Working with Etihad Airways’ expert, aviation medical practitioners, phase one of the project – to develop a new travel management strategy for all CFG clubs – was undertaken to enhance performance on the pitch.
Following strategic research and collaboration between CFG’s sports science departments and Etihad Airways, whose knowledge in the field of travel was essential to the project, phase one was completed and it became clear that the strategies athletes employ to remain at their peak when travelling were also applicable to business travellers. Soon after, Hays signed up to the project recognising the significant benefits it could also offer both its employees and clients.
Speaking about the project, Ed Sulley, Head of Research and Innovation for City Football Group’s Global Football department, said:
“Whether it’s travelling for the Champions League, MLS fixtures on the west coast or away games in Perth, all of the clubs connected with the City Football Group are affected by travel. Minimising the subsequent effects of travel, particularly over long distances, is important to ensure our teams are ready to perform the moment they touch down.
“The Etihad Airways Medical Centre in Abu Dhabi has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of travel and working with them on Flying Fit has enabled us to provide our players and staff with the information and resources they need to be at their best.”
Patrick Pierce, Vice-President Marketing Partnerships for Etihad Airways:
“Witnessing the collaboration between our aviation medical professionals and CFG’s sports science team has been a great experience. Because the wellbeing of our pilots, cabin crew, staff and guests is of upmost importance, we are proud to use our knowledge to help CFG enhance player performance and business productivity when travelling.”
Martin Dixon, EMEA Director at Hays:
“As a global organisation, ensuring our employees have the information and tools they need to remain alert and focused when travelling for business is a top priority for us. If you are travelling to another country on business, you need to make sure you are at peak performance when you arrive and preparation is key to this. For me it’s simple; if I travel well, I will arrive well and I will perform well.
“Flying Fit is a great way to provide this information for our colleagues and clients, and highlights what business professionals can learn from the world of elite sport. Throughout our partnership with City we have been able to use football as a tool to inform and inspire our staff and clients and we are delighted we are continuing the success of our partnership with the Flying Fit project.”