Football: 'Respect' the way forward for Tampines Rovers as club signs two-year deal with Hummel

The five-time S-League champions will have the word "hormat" ("respect" in Malay) on the front of their new jerseys. PHOTO: TWITTER/ STSPORTSDESK

SINGAPORE - What started as an "inside joke" will be emblazoned across the jersey of Tampines Rovers this coming S-League season.

The five-time S-League champions will have the word "hormat" ("respect" in Malay) on the front of their jerseys.

At the announcement of the club's partnership with kit makers Hummel at Our Tampines Hub on Tuesday (Jan 30), Stags chairman Desmond Ong explained the thinking behind the move.

The partnership is for two years and valued at about $100,000.

"It (the hormat logo) started with an inside joke," said Ong, the managing partner of legal firm JLC Advisors.

He explained that when he was in talks to sign young players who had previously worked with Tampines coach Juergen Raab, the common response was that the no-nonsense German coach was not all that popular among players.

But every player said they respected Raab for his straight-talking style.

"I told Juergen - if this was a popularity contest, we would be in big trouble," added Ong, with a chuckle.

"But, in our conversations, we found that this concept of respect was a recurring theme... and we decided that, as a club, we would make this one of our cornerstones going forward..

"We believe in it so much that we're going to put that across our chest."

Japanese club Albirex Niigata, S-League champions for the past two seasons, have worn Hummel kits since 2016.

It is believed Tampines will be the first local S-League club to wear Hummel, although the Danish kit makers previously sponsored local Premier League clubs Sembawang SC and Jurong Town FC in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Hummel South East Asia distribution head Paul Ko said: "We know Tampines have had some problems in the last two years.

"But there is now new management at the club, and we share their vision."

Said Ong: "In entering this partnership deal with Hummel, I think we've found a partner that is as committed to football as we are. Not just on the pitch but off it.

"We are enthused by the ideas they have, particularly in the area of community outreach.

"Obviously, the fact the kit looks very smart is an added bonus.

"We're looking toward a fruitful partnership with them in the coming years."

Tampines' home and away kits will be available on their online store, which will be launched next month, priced at $59.

The Stags will kick off the S-League season on March 31, when they play Albirex in the Great Eastern Community Shield.

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