With less than a year to go before the South-east Asia (SEA) Games gets underway here, the organising committee has secured its first Tier 1 sponsor.
Singapore will host the 28th SEA Games from June 5 to 16, and NTUC FairPrice became the first main sponsor of the biennial event by contributing S$5 million.
Speaking after NTUC FairPrice chairman Ng Ser Miang presented the cheque of S$5 million, Richard Seow, chairman of sponsorship and marketing advisory sub-committee of the Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee (Singsoc), said: "The SEA Games is going to be a large, regional Games, and will attract a lot of viewership and consumers in South-east Asia.
"We expect, over the next few weeks to make more sponsorship announcements.
"Conversations with prospective partners are going well and we are optimistic of reaching our (S$50 million) target."
As part of the Tier-1 sponsorship - for which the minimum qualifying amount is S$5 million (see sidebar above) - S$2 million of NTUC FairPrice's commitment will be in cash, while the remaining will be in kind, extending to contributions like mineral water and snacks during the Games.
The 2015 SEA Games will be the first time Singapore will host the region's biggest multi-sport event since 1993 and will see some 7,000 athletes from 11 participating nations compete here, with much of the events being held at the newly-opened Sports Hub, and the 55,000-seater National Stadium.
The stadium opened its doors for the first time over the weekend when it hosted the inaugural Rugby World Club 10s, which was won by the Super Rugby side the Auckland Blues.
Though the hybrid artificial-natural pitch looked a work-in-progress, sporting more sand than grass, the rugby showpiece went on without any pressing concerns, according to Singapore Sports Hub Pte Ltd.
In a statement to The New Paper, Greg Gillin, senior director of stadia, Singapore Sports Hub, said the response from players and fans was largely positive.
"Considering the playing surface was just over two weeks old prior to the tournament, there was an expectation of significant wear as a result of more than 16 hours of full-contact rugby that took place over two days of competition and a further two days of training.
"It, however, did not affect players' performance and provided a safe playing surface, which allowed the players to confidently perform at 100 per cent," said Gillin.
The first football game to be held at the new National Stadium will be a glamour friendly between Italian giants Juventus and a Singapore Selection on Aug 16.
The Singapore Chinese Orchestra will stage a concert at the stadium this Saturday and the pitch will be canvassed for protection.
The same will be done when the Stefanie Sun concert is held there on July 5.
"After the Singapore Chinese Orchestra and Stefanie Sun concerts, which will be hosted on the playing surface, the pitch will undergo another round of seeding to improve its aesthetics ahead of the Juventus game in August," added Gillin.
"The National Stadium has been designed as a versatile multi-purpose facility.
"Our playing surface is a key element to this versatility and allows us to provide a safe arena for athletes to perform at their best."
Roads leading to the car parks around and within the stadium were completed last week, while the retractable roof proved fully operational during the rugby tournament.
It was closed during both days of action, at the request of event organisers.
2015 SEA Games sponsorship tiers
1. Tier 1 — Main Sponsors
2. Tier 2 — Official Sponsors
3. Tier 3 — Official Partners
4. Tier 4 — Official Supporters
For each tier, additional rights and benefits or opportunities are customised as per the needs of the sponsor.
Minimum sum to qualify:
Tier 1 — $5 million.
Tier 2 — $1 million.
Tiers 3 & 4 — $50,000
The sponsorship can be a mixture of cash and product (value in kind). Singsoc only accepts products or services which are actually required by the Games and are budget relieving.
This article was first published on JUNE 25, 2014.
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