AirAsia Bhd said its recent sponsorship deal with Manchester United is already bringing about positive results in terms of attracting business.
It's already paying off. The trend is there. We are now seeing customers from Europe who have changed their holiday plans to come to Malaysia instead, executive director Kamarudin Meranun told Agence France-Presse.
AirAsia signed its one-year, low-fare carrier sponsorship deal with Alex Ferguson's team in July in Hong Kong during the Red Devils' Asian Tour.
Kamarudin declined to reveal the cost of the deal, which comes with an additional one-year option, but said it was a win-win agreement for both parties.
The sponsorship deal gives AirAsia greater visibility in the global market. United's games are beamed all over the world, including to destinations that we fly and plan to fly like China.
So when a game is played at Old Trafford, AirAsia's logo and name will be on the electronic (advertising) board and shown across the world to millions of people, he said.
The agreement, among other things, allows AirAsia to paint its aircraft in the colours of the team and sell United's merchandise on its flights.
It is a partnership to build awareness and encourage potential tourists from Europe to (come to) Asia and fly AirAsia, Kamarudin said, adding: We are confident it will bolster our bottomline.
Kamarudin said AirAsia was also seeking an alliance with an international carrier, possibly Malaysia Airlines (MAS), to fly in European tourists.
(These) passengers can then use AirAsia to fly local and regional routes. We hope we can work with Malaysia Airlines, he said.
Earlier this year the possibility of such a tie-up with MAS was raised by both government and company officials in the face of soaring fuel bills. AFX-Asia