February 24 – Singapore’s S- League has signed Hyundai Motors as a new co-title sponsor in a two-year deal believed to be worth $1 million.
With the season starting this weekend, Hyundai replaces food and beverage company Yeo Hiap Seng, which had been a league sponsor for 13 years. Hyundai’s co-title sponsor partner is insurer Great Eastern Life with the league being called the Great Eastern Hyundai S.League.
The nine-team S-League had an uncertain financial future with sponsors proving evasive. Hyundai’s last minute support is a welcome boost with clubs in particular emphasising the value the league brings to sponsors.
The league made the announcement at the Komoco Motors showroom, the sole distributors for Hyundai cars. Komoco Motors’ 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.”
Hyundai is a FIFA sponosor as well as a UEFA sponsor. It is also the title sponsor of Australia’s A-League.
This will be the 22nd season of the S.League, the top professional league in the country. The nine clubs play each other three times between February and October.
To expand the interest and competitiveness of the league the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) issued invitations to a number of foreign clubs to enter the league. In 2003 Sinchi FC, comprised of Chinese players, became the first foreign club to enter the league and two of their players later became naturalised Singaporeans and represented the country.
Japan’s J-league club Albirex Nigata entered a feeder team into the S.League in 2004. Well supported by Japanese expats, the club were the 2016 champions.
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