It is heartening that the Singapore Premier League (SPL) is generating much excitement and buzz in the local sports landscape.
With not a few expatriate players in the SPL, including Belgian Maxime Lestienne (Red-hot Lestienne hopes to blaze a trail for Sailors, Singapore football, Aug 18), we should find ways to engage Singapore's expatriate community more deeply to attend SPL matches and, in the process, get them involved in supporting local football.
For instance, it is not unusual to see the Japanese expatriate community rooting for Albirex Niigata at SPL matches. Geylang International's French midfielder Vincent Bezecourt has the support of the French expatriate community, who turn up at matches to watch him play.
Engaging these expatriates at a deeper level could convert them from mere spectators to highly engaged fans of SPL and Singapore football.
One possibility could be to create meaningful opportunities for fan meet-and-greets with players during training and at matches.
Another is to offer club membership with unique and compelling value propositions specific to the expatriate community.
Corporate social responsibility collaborations between SPL clubs and local expatriate clubs and foreign chambers of commerce, such as the French Chamber of Commerce, could also be worth exploring.
As we aim to book a spot in the 2034 Fifa World Cup, exploring innovative ways to engage the local expatriate community to get involved in and to support Singapore football could pay dividends and unleash an untapped source of vitality to further rev up the local football scene.
Woon Wee Min