SINGAPORE: AIA Singapore will continue to be the title sponsor of the Singapore Premier League (SPL) until the 2022 season, with an option to extend the sponsorship for a further three years beyond that, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) said in a media release on Tuesday (Mar 2).
The renewal “reflects the continued growth of the SPL and commitment of both FAS and AIA to developing local football talents”, FAS said. AIA has been the title sponsor of the SPL, Singapore’s only professional sports league, since 2019.
As part of the sponsorship renewal, AIA and FAS will collaborate on a number of initiatives, including the AIA Player of the Month and AIA Young Player of the Month awards, which complement the end-of-season AIA Player of the Year award.
FAS said that they are also exploring ways to collaborate with English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur, which is also sponsored by AIA.
“To engage fans and the wider community, the FAS and AIA Singapore are exploring opportunities to involve SPL stars and leverage AIA’s global ambassadors and partnership with Tottenham Hotspur,” FAS said.
“Other activities include specific match-viewing events for fans and community football clinics for youth players in schools conducted by SPL footballers, FAS coaching staff and Tottenham Hotspur coaches.
“AIA Singapore will also continue to collaborate with SPL clubs and players to roll out interactive initiatives online to further drive and enhance fan participation.”
Local coaches will also be able to attend coaching education seminars held by Tottenham’s global development coaches which focus on best practices in technical training as well as the club’s training methodologies.
READ: Singapore Premier League season to begin behind closed doors on Mar 13, Brunei DPMM to sit out
FAS president Lim Kia Tong said that AIA’s sponsorship of the SPL has been key to football in Singapore on several levels.
“We are delighted to be able to continue working with AIA Singapore, who have displayed steadfast commitment to lifting local football standards since becoming the title sponsor of the SPL two years ago,” he said.
“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.
“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.”
Ms Wong Sze Keed, CEO of AIA Singapore, said that the company’s support for the SPL and football in Singapore is in keeping with its “brand promise”.
“AIA’s strong ties with football through our global partnership with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club makes supporting local football a natural choice, and we are pleased to extend our existing partnership with the Football Association of Singapore,” she said.
“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 2021 SPL season will begin on Mar 13 behind closed doors, with only eight teams competing. Brunei DPMM will sit out the season due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
The 26th season of the league - the 4th since its rebranding from the S League - kicks off with matches between defending champions Albirex Niigata and Hougang United, and the Lion City Sailors and Tampines Rovers.
More than 90 matches are scheduled to be played over the course of the season, which concludes in October. This includes the 2021 Singapore Cup, which is slated to commence in September.
This year's edition of the Community Shield, which traditionally acts as a curtain-raiser to the domestic season, has been rescheduled to Jun 19 and will be contested by Albirex Niigata and last season’s runners-up Tampines Rovers.
Albirex were crowned 2020 SPL champions just under three months ago, marking the sixth consecutive season that a foreign team has won the league.