Jakarta. Garuda Indonesia is considering not renewing a sponsorship deal with Liverpool Football Club after the contract expires this year, citing a shift in priorities and only minor benefits.
The airline is currently evaluating the impact of the Liverpool deal to its bottom line, president director Arief Wibowo said on Thursday. The country's flag carrier spends $9 million a year on the deal, he said.
Garuda logos have been worn on Anfield and Liverpool training jerseys since 2010, in a bid to raise brand awareness for the airline. The move saw Garuda join the ranks of other global brands like Emirates, sponsor of Arsenal, and AirAsia, who has thrown its weight behind the Queen Park Rangers, who have backed English Premier League sides.
Since beginning the sponsorship, the airline has joined the Skytrax exclusive club of 5-star airlines, putting it on par with top global airlines like Singapore airlines and Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways, further raising its global profile.
Garuda's focus will now shift to its bottom line, which may return to black in 2015 after years of deficit, Arief said.
"We will prioritize a sustainable and profitable performance," he said.
The deal has been under review by Garuda since last year, questioning if the airline is reaping many benefits from the club which has not won the Premier League in more than two decades.
"We will see about the brand awareness priority ... Singapore Airlines managed to do it without sponsoring a football club," Arief said.