PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines' (MAS) recently-announced sponsorship for the Queen Park Rangers (QPR) home jersey in the Barclays Premier League will cost the national carrier some RM18mil or 3.7mil, according to a source.
The total sponsorship fee for both MAS and AirAsia for the English professional football club, which involves a term of two years, would cost some RM30mil (6.2mil), the source added.
“MAS will take up a bulk or almost 60% of the total fees while the remaining will be forked out by AirAsia Bhd and its related companies which could also involve AirAsia X.
“Typically, the home jersey sponsorship is more expensive than the away jersey,” the source said.
On Monday, MAS and AirAsia signed a jersey deal for QPR which will see the MAS logo adorn the jersey at home while the AirAsia logo will be used on the team's away games.
“This sponsorship is the first major initiative of our new brand and marketing strategy that would see important advertising money spent on boosting our top line. This is a key component in our drive to regain global market share, profitability,” said MAS executive director Mohammed Rashdan Yusof.
Even so, most analysts are not thrilled. Their main grouse is that MAS should instead be focusing on strengthening its flagging financial status and showing some concrete moves towards this end.
Moreover, the crucial post of a chief executive officer for MAS has still yet to be filled.
The sponsorship deal by the two airlines closely follows a landmark share-swap deal involving the major shareholders of the respective airlines in early August which had turned the rivals into allies.
AirAsia's chief steward and major shareholder Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and his partner, Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, collectively own a 75% stake in Tune QPR Sdn Bhd, which in turn owns 66% of QPR Holdings Ltd. Fernandes, who only recently acquired the stake in the football club, is currently chairman of QPR.
In an earlier announcement to Bursa Malaysia, AirAsia said it would cough up some RM2.4mil or 500,000 as sponsorship fees for the duration of the two-year term.
Only in June this year, Genting UK, the largest casino operator in Britain, sealed a pact to be the main jersey sponsor for Aston Villa for two years. Although the amount was not disclosed, a source said the total sponsorship fees for the two years collectively involved some RM17mil or 3.5mil.
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