AirAsia and Tourism Malaysia, have signed a 2008 contract with Manchester United Football Club, extending AirAsia’s role as the official low-cost airline to the football club. The ceremony, which took place at Old Trafford last weekend, was attended by AirAsia’s CEO Dato’ Tony Fernandes and Minister of Tourism Malaysia, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor. They were joined by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and club captain Gary Neville.
Under the terms of the deal, AirAsia will continue to fly its Manchester United branded Airbus aircraft, as well as producing joint merchandise, Asian trophy tours and player appearances at various AirAsia events.
Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia said “One of our brand strategies is to promote AirAsia overseas and to reach people via sports marketing. With this deal we continue to build affinity with our customers, giving credibility and raising international awareness of AirAsia as Asia’s leading low cost airline. 2008 is going to be an exciting year for us, not least with the UK launch of AirAsia X, the first major long-haul low-cost airline.”
“This sponsorship will see the AirAsia brand being associated with top notch professionalism and the spirit of good sportsmanship, with the aim of reaching out to a bigger audience and elevating the brand to greater heights. Similarly, our partnership with Tourism Malaysia; further illustrates our commitment to reach out to the world with the right partners,” added Tony.
Minister of Tourism Malaysia, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor commented “Through this sponsorship, I believe we will be able to promote Malaysia more aggressively and extensively to the UK and European markets. Manchester United is one of the most prestigious football clubs in the world with 75 million fans around the globe. In addition, Manchester United gets extensive media coverage every week through the Premier League which is shown in 195 countries. Manchester United is also a franchise of international multimedia that covers the MUTV television network, website, magazine, database, several restaurants around the world, credit card and financial services with Manchester United branding. These are the reasons we are working with together with AirAsia to offer this sponsorship for the second year. I am confident that we will be able to promote Malaysia to more people around the world, thus increasing tourist arrivals to the country and also tourist receipts.”
David Gill, CEO of Manchester United, said “AirAsia’s and Tourism Malaysia renewal of its sponsorship is good news for Manchester United. Our growing fan base in Asia underlines the club’s enormous popularity on that continent and this partnership is an excellent way for us to communicate with millions of fans. We look forward to enhancing our very successful relationship.”