Badminton: OUE to sponsor Singapore Open

PARTNERSHIP: OUE Limited executive chairman Stephen Riady (left) and Singapore Badminton Association president Lee Yi Shyan (right) holding a giant hongbao at the media launch of the OUE Singapore Open yesterday at the OUE Bayfront.

Badminton's Singapore Open has found a new sponsor in OUE Limited, a public-listed property company.

OUE will be the prestigious Badminton World Federation SuperSeries tournament's title sponsor for one year for "a six-figure sum", it was announced yesterday.

OUE Limited executive chairman Stephen Riady said: "The Singapore Open is a premier international badminton event with a strong and passionate following on the sporting calendar.

"Through our title sponsorship, we at OUE hope to contribute to the development of badminton in Singapore and expose local players to international competition at the highest level.

"I hope the OUE Singapore Open inspires a new generation of players who will not only excel in the sport, but also give back to the community through badminton."

OUE's sponsorship ends the Singapore Badminton Association's search for a title sponsor for its marquee tournament, following the end of Li-Ning's title sponsorship last year.

However, the Chinese brand will remain the tournament's equipment and apparel sponsor this year.

Said tournament organising chairman Ng Yoke Weng: "This is the first time that OUE is delving into sports sponsorship, so they'd want to see how it develops.

"But we want to develop this relationship with them."

Besides the corporate boxes, normal and premium seats, the organisers have introduced a new category this year.

Priced between $38 and $98 for adult season passes, the 330 category A seats are carved out from last year's corporate seating section at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, and offer fans a better view of the courts.

In addition, fans can choose their seats on a first-come-first-served basis when they buy tickets, instead of the previous free-seating policy.

The organisers also slashed the prices of the premium seats by about half, in response to fans' feedback.

The court-side seats will cost $120 or $150 for an adult season pass, instead of $250 or $280 last year.

RESPONSE

Ng said: "The interest in premium seats last year was a bit low... and we really want to make sure that our fans get to enjoy the tournament. Hopefully, the response will be better this time."

He is also hoping for a similar turnout as last year, despite the change in dates.

While the US$300,000 ($380,000) tournament was staged during the June school holidays previously, the OUE Singapore Open will be held at the Indoor Stadium from April 8 to 13.

Ng said: "I think the weekends will still be well-attended, although the weekdays, especially the first few days, may see lower attendances."

Tickets, including daily passes, go on sale next Monday, via SportsHub Tix.


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