The 2005-2006 English Premier League (EPL) season is coming to an end, but Malaysia is already scoring in a big way for the new season beginning in August.
This summer, Malaysia has found a place at the new Arsenal home ground at the Emirates Stadium nearby Ashburton Grove in Highbury and Islington, London.
To be exact, a Malaysia manufacturer, Ferco Seating Systems (M) Sdn Bhd, will be furnishing the seats for the 60,000 capacity crowd of the newly built stadium to replace Arsenal's historic Highbury ground.
Since 1913, the Gunners have been playing at Highbury with a capacity for 38,000 people.
“We proud to be chosen as a supplier for the Emirates Stadium based on competitive edge in manufacturing the seats and our reputation as established Malaysian-based manufacturer,” said Ferco Seating marketing manager Alex Chew.
“The seats produced are specially designed for comfort and durability. Following a lengthy research and development process, we commenced production last month.
“We are expecting to complete the production of the 60,000 seats for the stadium by end of May,” he said.
“We are delighted with the stadium's contractor having the confidence in a Malaysia manufacturer to supply the seats. It is an immense recognition for another made in Malaysia product,” said Emirates Malaysia manager Alban Lee.
Emirates SkyCargo will be sending the first batch of seats to London via Dubai tomorrow as the £357mil (RM2.335bil) stadium built by main contractor Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd enters its final phase of construction.
Emirates SkyCargo is part of the Emirates Airline, which is a United Arab Emirates international airline based in Dubai.
“Our airline is known for its high service standards. We are proud to be part of the building process of the new Emirates Stadium. We do not foresee any major logistics difficulties.
“As a player in the airfreight forwarding industry, we are just performing our regular function to facilitate the delivery of the seats. We are certain that we will deliver the seats on time according to the installation schedule,” said Emirates Malaysia cargo manager Bobby Chang, who is anticipating the freighting schedule for the rest of the seats from the company's headquarters in Dubai.
In positioning the Emirates Airline in the EPL with a strong following worldwide, the Middle East air carrier has signed a £100mil (RM659.701mil) sponsorship deal with Arsenal.
Over the next 15 years, the Gunner's home ground will be known as the Emirates Stadium. In addition, the Fly Emirates logo will find its place on the front of the Gunners' playing strip for the next eight seasons starting in August.
Currently, the Fly Emirates logo is also placed on the sleeves of the EPL referees' and assistants' official strip.
“We are excited about the prospect of watching the Gunners playing at the new stadium,” said Lee.
As part of Emirates' global commitment towards sports sponsorship, it has associated itself with major football events.
Besides the Arsenal sponsorship, it is also official partner for the 2006 Fifa World Cup football beginning in Germany in June.
“For the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix from March 17-19, our 747 Freighter will be flying the Formula One machines from Bahrain following the conclusion of the season's opening round there,” Chang said, adding that the air cargo provider has a diverse portfolio and was not only restricted to commercial goods.