June 29, 2009
AirAsia, a low-cost airline that does not currently fly anywhere in the United States, has entered into a sponsorship with the Oakland Raiders. The result is what you see above, an A340 Airbus painted with Raiders logos, insignias, images, and the "Commitment to Excellence" slogan that's been kind of funny for a while now.
A sponsorship deal with an airline has been a dream of Al Davis's since his childhood friendship with Wilbur and Orville Wright.
Maybe it's just me, and I'm a little bit of a nervous traveler to begin with, but I can't say I'd feel completely comfortable getting on that plane. When I board a flight, the last thing I want to think of is something like, oh, I don't know ... the flight of your typical JaMarcus Russell(notes) pass. It may have some velocity, and it may look pretty in the air, but where and how it's going to land is anybody's guess.
Of course, that won't be a concern in Cambodia, China, Thailand, Taiwan, The Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Myanmar, or any of the other countries serviced by AirAsia. American football isn't all that popular in Asia (or anywhere outside of North America, really), so the overwhelming majority of customers won't have any idea that the logo on the side of the plane represents an organization that's currently synonymous with losing and embarrassing, team-crippling mismanagement.
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