When you're travel ling in the Eastern Hemisphere and you see the black eye patch and a pirate shield on a plane flying international flights, it doesn't mean pirates have taken over that aircraft. It means you're seeing AirAsia's "Commitment To Excellence", a sponsored aircraft decked out in full Raider logo and colors.
The Raider-accessorized plane first came to light last month when an amateur photograph of it turned up on an on line airplane message board. Patrick Patterson, Raider Examiner and frequent contributor to Raider blog Thoughts from the Dark Side, got hold of Raiders CEO Amy Trask and confirmed that it was a legit marketing deal the Raiders had entered into. She endorsed AirAsia as a "bodacious" airline in her remarks to the Examiner.
But in Malaysia, this deal is going about as well as the hiring of a bed-and-breakfast operator to be an NFL offensive coordinator. All Headline news reports that AirAsia is already $10 million in debt, and this deal "has lead to others wondering how they have the money to invest in a foreign NFL franchise".
While AirAsia doesn't fly to the United States, the airline does intend top fly that baby into Oakland for at least one game this year.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who'd be willing to slap a Raider logo on his tailfin for $1 million in Malaysian currency.