Friday, December 30, 2011

AirAsia extends sponsorship deal with 1Malaysia Racing Team

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 30): AIRASIA BHD [] is maintaining its presence in the Formula One racing scene and this has seen it extending its sponsorship agreement with 1Malaysia Racing Team Sdn Bhd (Caterham F1) for another year, starting Jan 1, 2012.

The low-cost carrier said on Friday it would be the an official team partner of Caterham F1, the F1 racing team formerly known as Team Lotus and title sponsor of the Caterham F1 driver development programme for the 2012 season.

AirAsia chief Tan Sri Anthony Francis Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, who are AirAsia directors and major shareholders, are also the directors of Caterham F1 and each has a direct interest of 25% respectively. They are also co-team principals of Caterham F1.

AirAsia said the sponsorship amount for Caterham F1 was RM5.36 million company media value/space and RM1 million further expenditure for advertising, on ground and PR related activities with Caterham F1.

Caterham F1 was incorporated on Oct 16, 2009 and is principally engaged in F1 racing.

'Through continuous association with F1, the company intends to elevate its brand perception from that of a low cost carrier to a brand associated with high end sports and cutting edge F1 TECHNOLOGY [],' it said.

AirAsia said it intended to use sports sponsorship and sports branding to drive consumer aspirations and build sports related themes in relation to sales campaigns for various flight destinations.

'This will enable the company to differentiate itself against its competitors which are only pushing low fares and also attract a different segment of customers wanting to associate themselves with F1,' it said.

As for the public relations (PR) value, AirAsia said Caterham F1 was a Malaysian brand and the company's involvement and support will generate significant local interest and goodwill towards the company.

As for the sponsorship of the driver development programme, it said this scheme would provide the company with exposure through the Caterham F1 Team website, and continued support of the company's initiatives throughout the year through their media platforms.

AirAsia pointed out the programme would help nurture drivers from across the region which would create strong PR opportunities Asean-wide as well as domestically.

'The financial risks associated with the extension are expected to be minimal as the risks are limited to the sponsorship fee,' it explained.

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