Saturday, September 08, 2012

LFC Launch Garuda Partnership

Liverpool FC's Global Official Airline partners Garuda Indonesia were at Anfield for the ceremonial launch of their three-year partnership with the club.

Managing director Ian Ayre joined Emirsyah Satar and Elisa Lumbantoraun of Garuda Indonesia and His Excellency T. M. Hamzah Thayeb, the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, for a press conference before the visitors headed on to a stadium tour and then a tour of the club's Melwood training base.

The partnership between Liverpool and Garuda was officially announced in July this year. On Sunday, 35 representatives of the airline made the trip to Anfield for Liverpool's clash against Arsenal.

And on Monday morning, the club's new partners were treated to a special surprise in the form of two very important guests - Liverpool's all-time record goalscorer Ian Rush and the European Cup.

"It has been a great day for us and a great day to celebrate such an important partnership," said Ayre. "We're always pleased when we can bring new partners to the football club.

"We're very fortunate that over the last few years, we have grown our family of partners and sponsors and the most important thing is that we recognize it is a partnership and it's about working together.

"In a partnership, it's important that both sides need to win. We're committed to winning as a football club and we want to commit to winning in this partnership.

"Having a partner which is a global airline, which has ambition and wants to build and go forward, is a great alignment with Liverpool. Indonesia, in South East Asia, is a hotbed for Liverpool supporters and so it's a great partnership for the club."

To help celebrate the new partnership, a troop of Indonesian dancers performed for Reds fans gathered in the newly-opened Family Park outside Anfield prior to Liverpool's clash with the Gunners.

And the following morning, a short documentary was shown to the guests and journalists gathered in the Anfield's press room, during which Garuda outlined their aims and ambitions for the future.

"Going forward, it's about using the power of both brands to reach out and create value," continued Ayre. "For Liverpool, it's about Garuda making a financial contribution to the club and also being able to support us on the ground in Indonesia - which has a vast market.

"Garuda have huge ambition. They will be doubling the size of their fleet over the next few years and truly reaching out globally. As a football club, with the reach we get on television and the reach our players have in the media, those types of partnerships always work well."

Jonathan Kane, Liverpool's director of international business development, has been instrumental in securing the deal since the first communications were made between the two groups some six months ago and he explained how the deal was all about timing.

"We spoke to Garuda when we were looking for a global airline partner," he said. "At the same time it became apparent that Garuda were looking for a major sports property to help them build their brand globally and it became clear, quite quickly, that we were the perfect fit for them.

"They were keen to associate themselves with one of the world's most successful and popular football teams and from our perspective, we're honoured to be associated with one of the world's most rapidly-growing brands."

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