Tourism Malaysia Signs One-Year Deal With Barcelona Striker Luis Suárez
Tourism Malaysia announced it signed a one-year partnership deal with Barcelona striker Luis Suárez, according to THE STAR. The contract "was inked between Tourism Malaysia and Mediapro," the Asian representative for the Uruguayan footballer (THE STAR, 11/10). ASIA SPONSORSHIP NEWS reported Tourism Malaysia "hopes to hedge on the global popularity" of Suárez to "drum up interest in Malaysia as a tropical holiday destination of choice, particularly for millennials." Suárez "is an interesting choice: his footballing skills are inspiring but the Uruguayan does not come without any baggage." The controversy of biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in the 2014 World Cup has "dogged the 30-year-old’s image despite a relatively incident-free three years at Barcelona." Tourism Malaysia is "clearly pushing hard into Spain." As of Oct. '15, the European country ranked 28th for inbound tourists into Malaysia. Its deals with with La Liga, Sevilla and now Suárez "are clearly trying to move the needle with what is arguably seen as a cool youth-culture platform" (ASN, 11/10).