Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has struck a deal with famed football club Liverpool to become its official global airline partner.
According to press statement from Liverpool, the partnership is one which would last for three years. A+M has reached out to MAS for a statement on the monetary value of the partnership. Previously, Garuda Indonesia was the football club’s official airline partner. Garuda reportedly spent US$9 million a year on the deal.
Through the new deal, MAS hopes to reach an international audience of more than one billion. It will also allow the airline to better leverage its presence in the China market, where Liverpool as around 40 million followers.
The partnership will see MAS receiving numerous benefits such as LED and static board brand exposure at each home game at Anfield stadium, as well as exposure on the Liverpool FC website, publications and Facebook page. It also includes co-branding opportunities in merchandising rights and customer engagement via experiential experiences, such as pitch side access, in Liverpool with players and legends. The airline will also have access to players to be featured as ambassadors and in all related communication materials.
Additionally, MAS will benefit from football clinics with Club International Academy coaches delivering coaching and coach education programmes both on and off the pitch. This will enable the airline to provide exposure to young Malaysian players, providing them access to coaching environment and coaching expertise possible, following the same curriculum that is delivered to Liverpool stars.
“We are delighted to welcome Liverpool FC to the Malaysia Airlines family. Both brands have a long and illustrious history with similar cultures rooted around a sense of family. Liverpool FC is one of the most followed clubs in the world, including around 100 million in Southeast Asia and 40 million in China, our key markets. Additionally, the partnership will go a long way in increasing awareness of Malaysia, as a tourist destination, to a huge global audience,” Peter Bellew, chief executive officer of Malaysia Airlines, said.
“Liverpool and Malaysia have always shared a special passion for football; when we visited Malaysia on our pre-season tour in 2011 and 2015, the reception was incredible. The partnership is a reflection of this bond and we are very much looking forward to a bright future working with Malaysia Airlines,” Billy Hogan, chief commercial officer, Liverpool FC, said.
To celebrate the new partnership, MAS will be offering a special sale for all-return flights from Kuala Lumpur to London. The sale will also be available for the China to London flights.
The airline recently reported steady progress in a recent quarter following turnaround plans. According to a report, MAS saw an increased recovery of its customer service index as product improvements were introduced in the quarter. The improvement was attributed to an aggressive sales push, coupled with advertising campaigns.
Bellew also said in a Starbiz interview that MAS saw a 10 to 20 fold return on the amount spent on advertising. This was seen as an encouraging sign following the two air disasters in recent years. The airline also brought on board Arved von zur Muehlen as chief commercial officer who took over from Paul Simmons who left in September. Prior to his appointment, Muehlen was senior vice president of commercial network operations for Qatar Airways.