By AFIQ AZIZ / Graphic By TMR
AirAsia Bhd has made legendary Brazilian footballer Roberto Carlos as the company’s global brand ambassador.
Group CEO Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes said the former Real Madrid was a player he regards a fighter that suits the group’s world brand ambassador role.
“No one embodies the dream spirit like Roberto Carlos: From playing on streets of Garca (in Brazil), and deciding to be a professional footballer at 12, to the amazing free kick against France and winning the World Cup. He has shown that when he wants something, he will see it through the end,” he said in a statement last Friday.
As ambassador, Carlos said he will work to help lift the carrier’s image by showing up at company’s events and promote AirAsia brand via social media.
“I will use my image to help enhance the company’s image,” he said in Kuala Lumpur last Friday.
Carlos joins the company’s current global ambassador, American musician David Foster, who was appointed in 2015.
AirAsia has also engaged national cyclist Azizul Hasni Awang and British swimmer Benjamin Proud to promote the AirAsia brand.
“In Brazil, because we suffer so much, we value football. I am thrilled to represent a brand like AirAsia, which prides itself in making dreams come true,” he said, adding that this is his first time being an airline ambassador.
“I am lucky to be a world champion and now it is a pride to be a part of this company, which is also a champion in the airline industry. It is now a part of my career and I would like to represent the company very well,” he added.
Last year, AirAsia was named the World’s Best Low- Cost Airline for the ninth time in a row at the 2017 Skytrax World Airline Awards or known as the “Oscars of the aviation industry” in France.
Carlos, who is nicknamed “The Bullet Man” for his powerful free kicks, represented Brazil at three FIFA World Cups.
He was also a part of the team that won the 2002 World Cup held jointly in South Korea and Japan. At club level, he played for Real Madrid and won four Spanish La Liga titles, as well as three UEFA Champions League titles, in 1998, 2000 and 2002.
AirAsia group head of branding Rudy Khaw said Carlos will be busy with World Cup 2018 activities, and the group will only have the opportunity to bring him back after the campaign in June.
When asked if AirAsia would expand its route to Brazil with the signing, Rudy did not deny the plan. “Who knows, in the future it could be materialised,” he said.