Lotus Racing owner to sponsor Premier League refs

Tune Group, the Asian travel and leisure company, is to sponsor Premier League referees from next season to help build recognition of its hotel brand ahead of a UK launch later this year.

The company has switched sponsorship from its Air Asia airline brand to help push its budget hotel brand Tune Hotels, which will open its first European branch in London before the year’s end.

The deal also covers the npower Championship, Football League and the FA and Carling Cups.

Tune is hoping English football’s global popularity and estimated 3 billion television audience will increase recognition and interest in his brands.

The Malaysian-based business also owns low-cost, long-haul variant Air Asia X, Formula 1 team Lotus Racing and the ASEAN Basketball League.

As part of the deal, the Tune Group logo will appear on the shirt sleeves and training wear of all match referees and fourth officials.

The seven-figure three-year deal starts this coming season.

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