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OCBC secures $50 million, 15-year naming rights deal as main sponsorship partner of Singapore Sports Hub

The new Singapore Sports Hub under construction at Kallang on July 9, 2013. Local bank OCBC have been announced as the largest sponsorship partner of the Singapore Sports Hub. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
The new Singapore Sports Hub under construction at Kallang on July 9, 2013. Local bank OCBC have been announced as the largest sponsorship partner of the Singapore Sports Hub. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Local bank OCBC has been announced as the largest sponsorship partner of the Singapore Sports Hub, a deal that will see it secure naming rights to various facilities - bar the National Stadium and the Singapore Indoor Stadium - within the 35ha hub.

The deal, inked on Monday morning, is in excess of $50 million. The 15-year contract will see OCBC own naming rights to the multi-purpose indoor arena, aquatic centre, the National Stadium Club Lounge at the north and south wings of the National Stadium, and the VIP lounge in the Singapore Indoor Stadium. An in-principle agreement for a "significant partnership" has also been reached with OCBC Bank's insurance subsidiary, Great Eastern Holdings. Revenue from the sponsorship will be re-invested into the hub's operation. Said Singapore Sports Hub chief executive officer Philippe Collin Delavaud: "OCBC's continuous contribution will benefit the entire Singapore Sports Hub infrastructure, including helping to sustain community facilities and programme."

Added OCBC Bank chairman Cheong Choong Kong: "Our sponsorship money will be primarily channelled to fund activities that the community can participate in, activities that are typically not commercially viable for operators to organise."

The opening up of sports facilities to commercial branding is a first for Singapore, although it has been a common practice in more established markets like the United States and Britain. Emirates airlines recently extended its rights to English Premier League club Arsenal’s stadium to 2028. The deal, which includes the club’s shirt sponsorship, is worth £150 million (S$299 million). Last year, American firm Farmers Insurance paid a record US$600 million (S$733 million) to have naming rights to a 68,000-seat American football stadium in Los Angeles. The $1.33 billion Sports Hub, which includes the centrepiece 55,000-seater National Stadium, a state-of-the-art aquatics centre and a multi-purpose indoor arena, is scheduled to be completed by April next year.