The Oakland Raiders and and AirAsia have announced on Friday that they have entered a new sponsorship deal. AirAsia's A340 airliner Xcellance has been painted with the Raider colors of Silver & Black.
The airliner has the Raiders shield on the tailfin and an eye patch on the noise of the plane. Raiders is painted on both sides of the airliner in large silver letter and large images of Raider players have also been painted on the plane.
The airline will host a 1000 seat web based contest with people able to win tickets to Raider home games. It is rumored that the AirAsia Xcellence will even be flying into Oakland for one of the home games in 2009. Details will be given on both AirAsia and the Raiders websites in the future.
The shocking part of this deal is that AirAsia does not service the United States. AirAsia fly 122 routes in Asia and has the largest network in Asia. AirAsia has carried 70 million passengers and has a fleet of 80 aircraft.
The Raiders have a relationship with Hawaiian Airlines that handle all the Raider Team flying needs for away games. But Amy Trask stated that the two airlines service different parts of the world so there was no problem.
Amy Trask in a release by the Raiders stated "We are absolutely thrilled with our new relationship with AirAsia. It is a unique and audacious relationship between two truly global organizations".
The Oakland Raiders have websites translated in six different languages throughout the world, German, Japanese, Chinese, Tagalog, Spanish and English. The Oakland Raider are also the first and only team in the NFL that produces a full content independent Spanish language website.
AirAsia CEO Dato' Sri Tony Fernandes stated "This is a very meaningful moment for all of us at AirAsia. We are excited to associate ourselves with a great iconic team like the Oakland Raiders as they reflect are own endeavor for excellence".
When John Gruden on ESPN Draft day coverage used his hands and arms to make the shape of the glob while stating "the Oakland Raiders are global with fans all over the world", he was not kidding.
Setting aside the past few rough years for the Raiders. An NFL record (12) AFC/AFL Championship Games played in to date. Playing in (5) Super Bowls winning (3). And being a Liddel Fumble or a play away from playing in another (5) Super Bowls.
That is almost 25% of ever Super Bowl played to date that the Raiders have played in or were knocking on the door to play in. And that is the AirAsia planes name, "Xcellence".