BY CHIA HAN KEONG
THE S-League began its new season yesterday - and also welcomed its newest sponsor.
At the Tampines Stadium, title contenders Tampines Rovers and Home United fought to a goalless draw in front of 3,377 fans in the opening match of the league's 14th season.
Earlier yesterday, there was good news for the league as it welcomed Great Eastern Life Assurance as its newest co-title sponsor.
The three-year sponsorship deal comes after NTUC Income ended its title sponsorship with S-League last year.
Both sides welcomed the sponsorship, likening it to the "main striker-supporting striker" partnership on the football pitch.
The only question left yesterday was which role each should fulfil.
Great Eastern's group chief executive, Mr Ng Keng Hooi, said the company is the supporting striker which provides the S-League with the financial strength for scaling greater heights.
However, Football Association of Singapore president Ho Peng Kee believed that the S-League is the supporting striker, helping Great Eastern reach its target audience.
Mr Ng said the 101-year-old insurance company would not be paralysed by the current economic downturn, thus its decision to strike a sponsorship deal with the S-League.
He said: "In fact, we should be working harder to explore more business opportunities for the company.
"We believe this sponsorship has a great potential to mutually benefit both us and the league." Prof Ho added: "In these trying times, sport is important because it can lift spirits up.
"We will strive to put up an entertaining product that can attract people to come and enjoy."
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