Hyundai comes on board in bid to drive S-League

Albirex Niigata fans celebrating after Albirex sealed their first S-League title at Jalan Besar Stadium on Oct 14, 2016.
Albirex Niigata fans celebrating after Albirex sealed their first S-League title at Jalan Besar Stadium on Oct 14, 2016. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

With just three days to go to its 22nd edition and its future clouded with uncertainty, the S-League scored a major boost when Hyundai was announced as the competition's new co-title sponsor.

The carmaker joins insurers Great Eastern Life in support of the domestic football competition and has signed a two-year deal, believed to be worth $1 million.

Hyundai replaces drinks manufacturer Yeo's, which on Wednesday announced that it had ended its partnership after 13 years.

At yesterday morning's announcement at the Komoco Motors showroom, the sole distributors for Hyundai cars, Komoco's group managing director Teo Hock Seng said: "To me (the sponsorship), it's worth it. The timing (of the deal) is quite good. Even my head office wanted us to do something more for the brand awareness.

"It is prudent for us to get involved in this juncture. It makes dollars and sense.

"For me, it's value for money. The outlay is not that huge but we think we can use the connectivity to enhance our brand."

  • 2
    Number of years that Hyundai's sponsorship of the S-League entails.

    13
    Number of years which former sponsor Yeo's backed the S-League.

POTENTIAL GOOD RETURNS

For me, it's value for money. The outlay is not that huge but we think we can use the connectivity to enhance our brand.

TEO HOCK SENG, Komoco Motors' group managing director, on Hyundai's sponsorship of the S-League.

With Singapore football facing a glut of poor results from the Lions and its various age-group teams and with the league facing dwindling interest, Komoco's cash injection is a welcome lift.

Rikram Jit Singh, the Football Association of Singapore's (FAS) assistant director for commercial and business development, said: "It is important to note how significant this two-year deal to be co-title sponsor of the S-League is as we now have two partners, together with Great Eastern Life, who believe in football and have steadfast dedication to see Singapore football climb to greater heights.

"I would also like to urge more local companies to come forward to support local sports."

Singh had previously secured sponsorship deals with Japanese technology company Epson and budget carrier Air Asia for the FAS.

The S-League deal will add to Hyundai's portfolio of football sponsorships.

The Korean carmaker is a Fifa partner, a top-tier sponsor of Uefa and the title sponsor of Australia's A-League.

Hyundai's entry into the S-League has also been welcomed by club officials.

Home United chief executive Azrulnizam Shah Sohaimi said: "The deal is proof that there is still value in Singapore football. This will improve the value proposition of the clubs, who can then be more confident of approaching sponsors.

"Nevertheless, the whole football fraternity needs to work even harder to show that the sponsor's money is worth the investment."

Wang Meng Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 24, 2017, with the headline 'Hyundai comes on board in bid to drive S-League'. Print Edition | Subscribe