Kuala Lumpur, 15 December 2023 – Asean’s leading travel brand, AirAsia has announced it is renewing its lead partnership agreement with the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) for the next four years, through Capital A’s brand management arm, airasia brand co. (abc.). This collaboration marks a significant step forward in promoting AirAsia’s support of young talent and dreams under its “Dare to Dream” banner.
The renewal of the partnership between AirAsia and AHF signifies a continued commitment to advancing the goals and aspirations of Asian hockey. As the premier governing body for hockey in Asia, AHF is committed to fostering the growth and development of the sport across the continent.
Under this resumed collaboration, AirAsia and AHF will work together to elevate the standards of hockey, promote grassroots development, and provide valuable opportunities for aspiring athletes throughout Asia. The partnership also aims to expand the reach of hockey by leveraging AirAsia’s extensive network and influential brand presence in the region.
Chief Executive Officer of Capital A Tony Fernandes said, “We take great pride in our collaboration with the esteemed Asia Hockey Federation. As a brand dedicated to serving the underserved, our commitment extends beyond borders to nurture local hockey talents throughout the expansive Asean region, which is brimming with untapped potential.
“Sports is about hard work and passion driven by dreams in the first place. We hope through our spirit of “Dare to Dream” and our longstanding relationship with AHF at the heart of this partnership, we can inspire more young athletes to uncover their potential, make their mark in the world of hockey from Asean to the world, just like how the AirAsia brand has spread its wings and flown to great heights.”
Fernandes also shared AirAsia’s commitment to connecting the Indian subcontinent to Malaysia, saying, “We are focused on growing in the Indian subcontinent and making Kuala Lumpur a key hub, especially with the recent announcement by the Malaysian government of visa-free entry for Indian citizens into Malaysia until 2024. Recognising hockey’s significance as India’s national sport and the country’s impressive performance in the arena, our aim is to support hockey and simplify the path for players in the region to connect and thrive. We are looking forward to the journey ahead, connecting Asean to the global hockey scene, with Kuala Lumpur at the heart of it all.”
AirAsia has played a key role in various sports ventures over the years, spanning football, motorsports, badminton, basketball, and beyond. Rudy Khaw, Chief Executive Officer of airasia brand co. added, “We are thrilled to infuse the energy of the AirAsia brand into the heart of Asian hockey. This renewed partnership with AHF is evidence of our comprehensive commitment to the development of sports, and as a dream-enabler to provide a platform for young athletes from all levels to explore opportunities, empowering them to excel in sports, achieve their goals, and blossom as both leaders and role models in their communities.”
“We are delighted to extend our partnership with AirAsia, a dynamic and forward-thinking organization that shares our passion for promoting the sport of hockey in Asia,” said Dato’ Fumio Ogura, President of the Asian Hockey Federation. “Together, we will continue to make significant strides in developing the sport at all levels, from grassroots to elite competition. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to AirAsia for its unwavering efforts and thoughtful consideration in renewing this partnership. Their dedication to the sport and vision for its growth in Asia has been instrumental in shaping the future of hockey. Together with AirAsia, we look forward to achieving new milestones and creating lasting impact across the continent.”
Through the 4-year partnership, AirAsia and AHF will jointly execute AHF-AirAsia Youth Development Projects within the Asean region. These initiatives will encompass youth development activities, youth competitions, hockey education courses, and workshops, alongside equipment distribution to support young athletes.
Furthermore, AHF will also introduce the AirAsia Youth Leadership Award, presented at the AirAsia Youth Leadership Forum, aiming to recognize athletes under the age of 18 to acknowledge not only their exceptional skills on the hockey field but also their capacity to inspire, lead, and make meaningful contributions to their communities. It is to celebrate holistic excellence and positive impact young athletes can bring beyond the boundaries of the hockey arena.