Fujitsu General has revealed its ambition to greatly expand its commercial and residential air conditioning business over the next few years. Toru Ishizuka, managing director for Australia and New Zealand, said the Japanese company is aiming to be the number one brand across all air conditioning in both countries.

Ishizuka made this bold pronouncement at Fujitsu’s gala dinner on the first evening of the Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Building Services (ARBS) expo in Melbourne. The dinner was hosted inside ‘The Hangar’, a cavernous indoor oval and basketball court at the Essendon Bombers’ head office and training facility, called the True Value Solar Centre, near Melbourne airport. Fujitsu General became a co-major partner of the Dons for the 2014 AFL season as it looks to strengthen its mindshare southwest of the Barassi Line.

“This event tonight is very symbolic for us in the sense that it represents the new challenges and initiatives that we carry on currently,” Ishizuka said. “First, our sponsorship with Essendon Football Club in the AFL is a big leap from our V8 sponsorship, which we carried on for many years. Our intention is to expand our brand audience to a wider range of consumers, users and customers and I’m very glad that we’ve already seen some signs of results.”

Fujistu General exited V8 sponsorship after a decade in the sport to concentrate on the two biggest competitions in the country: AFL and NRL. Sources at the company said it considered V8 to be a sport on the decline and that it wanted to re-energise its sponsorships with the most passionately followed competitions. V8 Supercars will be moving to subscription television for the 2015 season, with only selected races being broadcasted on free-to-air.

Around the same time Fujitsu General signed on with Essendon, it also partnered with the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Between the Dons and the Bunnies, Fujitsu will have a free-to-air TV presence at least once a weekend all season. The coaches of these teams, Mark Thompson and Michael Maguire, along with brand ambassador and Australian cricket legend Mark Taylor, all gave presentations at ARBS to Fujitsu’s customer and dealer community.

With this expensive and expansive marketing investment, Fujitsu has bold ambitions, as Ishizuka outlined when acknowledging guests for attending the dinner.

“I am aware that many of you or perhaps the majority of you here are great partners of our commercial and residential business,” he said. “This is an area where we would like to expand and create a strong foothold, to be a major player and, eventually, build it as the second pillar of our business, where the first pillar of our business up to now was the retail and domestic business.

“All in all, our ultimate goal is to become number one in all areas in Australia and New Zealand. It is a big challenge, it is a long way, but I think we are determined to do it, so what I would like to ask is for your continued support. I would very much appreciate it.”