Football: More fan engagement in the works as AIA extends title sponsorship of Singapore Premier League

AIA Singapore chief executive Wong Sze Keed (left) and FAS president Lim Kia Tong at the sponsorship signing ceremony. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - AIA Singapore has extended its title sponsorship of the Singapore Premier League (SPL) for another two years with an option of a further three, the life insurer and the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced on Tuesday (March 2).

AIA came on board as title sponsor of the Republic's only professional sports league in 2019.

The FAS and AIA did not reveal any valuation to the deal, but The Straits Times understands the partnership is worth about $2 million across 2021 and 2022.

At a press conference at the Jalan Besar Stadium, both parties announced that they would collaborate on initiatives such as awarding AIA Player of the Month and Young Player of the Month awards during the SPL season, which kicks off on March 13.

AIA and FAS also plan to engage fans and explore opportunities together and leverage on AIA's partnership with English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.

These include specific match-viewing events for fans and community football clinics for youth players in schools conducted by SPL players, FAS coaching staff and Spurs coaches.

There are also plans to allow local coaches to attend coaching education seminars conducted by Tottenham's global development coaches.

FAS president Lim Kia Tong noted that AIA has been "steadfast" is its commitment to lifting local football standards since it came on board as the league's title sponsor.

"This partnership has certainly helped to improve the vibrancy of the Singapore football scene not just from the perspective of our professional league but also in various other aspects such as coaching," he said. "It is heartening to be able to strengthen our relationship with AIA Singapore and have their continued unwavering support, particularly in these challenging times in an uncertain economic climate."

AIA Singapore chief executive officer Ms Wong Sze Keed added: "Through this collaboration with FAS, we are committed to actively supporting our nation of developing local football talents while also engaging and bringing football even closer to the community, helping us to deliver on our brand promise of enabling healthier, longer and better lives in Singapore."

The SPL, formerly known as the S-League until it was rebranded in 2018, will begin its 26th season on March 13, with defending champions Albirex Niigata hosting Hougang United at the Jurong East Stadium, while title hopefuls Lion City Sailors and Tampines Rovers clash at the Jalan Besar Stadium. Both games kick off at 5.30pm.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.