UFC taps AirAsia to serve as global brand’s first-ever “Official Airline” partner
NEW YORK – UFC®, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, today announced a new multi-territory partnership with AirAsia, Asia’s leading low-cost carrier, to serve as the global brand’s first-ever “Official Airline” sponsor. The partnership, which encompasses Asia and Australia, will begin on Saturday, November 4, during the highly-anticipated UFC® 217: BISPING vs. ST-PIERRE, live from Madison Square Garden in New York, New York.
“This deal is an indication of how much UFC and the sport of mixed martial arts have grown in Asia and around the world,” UFC Vice President of Asia-Pacific Kevin Chang said. “AirAsia is an innovative and fast-growing brand, we thank them for the support and we’re looking forward to creating engaging branded content for fight fans and AirAsia customers to enjoy.”
“In many ways, UFC’s rapid rise as a global phenomenon parallels AirAsia’s,” said Tony Fernandes, Group Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia. “The UFC expanded from their first event in Denver to the rest of the US and then to Asia-Pacific and the world, while AirAsia grew from a small domestic airline into Asia’s largest low-cost carrier that now flies to the US. Opposite directions but chasing the same dream, and we are thrilled to team up with a brand that shares our drive and vision.”
AirAsia will begin its international activations during UFC’s historic inaugural event in mainland China at UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: SILVA vs. GASTELUM on Saturday, November 25 at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. As part of this collaboration, AirAsia will obtain rights to signage and branding inside UFC’s world-famous Octagon® during the event in Shanghai and select international UFC events in 2018.
With this partnership, AirAsia will also serve as presenting sponsor of select UFC Fan Experiences throughout the region and promote a national sweepstakes campaign where two fans will win a UFC VIP Experience during an event in 2018. The airline brand will also be integrated across multiple UFC-based social and digital platforms, as well as having a presence during live-event broadcasts and on UFC.com. UFC and AirAsia will also jointly sponsor content featured on Weibo and WeChat platforms in China.
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 03: during the UFC Air Asia partnership agreement at the Endeavor offices on November 3, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Along with integration during international UFC events, this sponsorship will also deliver exciting co-branded content to Asian fight fans via AirAsia and UFC’s media platforms. These initiatives include monthly training sessions featuring UFC athletes and members of the UFC Performance Institute’s staff.
UFC and AirAsia will also make history by selecting the first-ever UFC scholarship program recipient. As part of this program, one Asia-based athlete will be awarded an all-expenses paid scholarship that includes travel to the United States and training at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada.
For more information on AirAsia, please visit airasia.com or follow AirAsia on Facebook and YouTube (AirAsia), Twitter and Instagram (@airasia), Weibo (@亚航之家) or WeChat and Zhihu (@亚洲航空).
For more information on UFC, please visit UFC.com. Follow us on Weibo, WeChat, Youku, QQ, Facebook (UFC Asia), Twitter and Instagram (@ufc).
UFC® is a premium global sports brand and the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world. Acquired in 2016 by global sports, entertainment and fashion leader, Endeavor, together with strategic partners Silver Lake Partners and KKR, UFC is headquartered in Las Vegas with a network of employees around the world. UFC produces more than 40 live events annually that consistently sell out some of the most prestigious arenas around the globe, while programming is broadcast in over 163 countries and territories to more than 1.1 billion TV households worldwide in 35 different languages. UFC FIGHT PASS®, a digital subscription service, delivers exclusive live events, thousands of fights on-demand and original content to fans around the world. For more information, visit UFC.com and follow UFC at Facebook.com/UFC, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram: @UFC.
AirAsia, the leading and largest low-cost carrier in Asia by passengers carried, services an extensive network of more than 120 destinations. Since starting operations in 2001, AirAsia has carried more than 400 million guests and grown its fleet from just two aircraft to over 200. The airline is proud to be a truly Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) airline with established operations based in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines as well as India and Japan, servicing a network stretching across Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the Middle East and the US. AirAsia has been named the World’s Best Low-Cost Airline at the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards nine times in a row from 2009 to 2017. AirAsia was also awarded World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline for the fourth consecutive year at the 2016 World Travel Awards, where it beat a field of full-service carriers to become the first ever low-cost carrier to win World’s Leading Inflight Service.