Malaysia's tourism deal with Chelsea

Following Malaysian Airlines' sponsoring of the English Premier League on ESPN-Star Sport Asia, Malaysia's Ministry of Tourism has signed a deal with Premier League champions Chelsea to be its official "travel destination".

Tourism Minister Datuk Dr Leo Michael Toyad said Chelsea Football Club’s endorsement came into effect from 21 August at the Chelsea vs Arsenal match and is applicable throughout the 2005/06 Premier League season.

By paying Chelsea £1 million for a one-year sponsorship, the ministry is permitted to display exclusive digital signboards of "Visit Malaysia Year" as well as the "Colours of Malaysia" promotion around Stamford Bridge, the team’s stadium in London, England for all the 19 home games played there.

Dr Toyad said the "Malaysia Truly Asia" logo will also be displayed at the Press conference backdrop at the venue before and after each home match.

"Undeniably, the Chelsea brand is seen as a dynamic, cosmopolitan and successful investment opportunity and an attractive platform for the strategic positioning of the ‘Malaysia Truly Asia’ brand. As such, we should recognise the vast potential of being visible at the World’s No 1 sport," he said, as quoted by the New Straits Times.

Chelsea’s home matches are reportedly viewed by some 350 million viewers in 168 countries.