12 October 2009
AirAsia has signed up as the official airline partner of the ASEAN Basketball League. The airline will provide the teams of the ABL with free flights to their games throughout the region.
Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia, said, “AirAsia offers its extensive route network and great flight frequencies to ABL to help the league achieve its goals of bringing basketball to everyone, just as AirAsia brings low fares to everyone. AirAsia is proud to be associated with another initiative that aims to promote an ASEAN identity among the 600 million people of the region.”
AirAsia flies 113 routes to almost 60 destinations in all 10 ASEAN countries, and to China, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Through its low-cost long-haul affiliate AirAsia X, the airline reaches Australia, northern China, Taiwan, and Europe and soon the Middle East.
AirAsia has consistently supported sports through local and international sponsorships of teams and sports events.
Kuhan Foo, CEO of ABL, said, “AirAsia’s sponsorship of ABL brings the league closer to the center of the sporting arena. The airline’s great connectivity and flight frequencies will allow us to more easily bring the games to the various ASEAN cities that will be hosting us. These will also allow us to keep in closer touch with the fan bases that we expect to grow as ABL gains popularity. We will be holding games all over ASEAN. ABL aims to provide sports entertainment to the 600 million people in the region.”
Games for the ABL season will go on until February 2010. Semi-final play-offs will be held in late January and early February, and finals are scheduled in February 2010.
ABL, formed through a collaboration between Tune Sports and E-Live, is the first regional basketball league in ASEAN and is supported by the Southeast Asian Basketball Association. It was launched in January this year.
The ASEAN Basketball League currently counts six teams – the Philippine Patriots, Satria Muda BritAma (Indonesia), Singapore Slingers, KL Dragons, Brunei Barracudas and Thailand Tigers. The teams will compete in a home and away league format.