Great Eastern Life extends S.League deal for two more years

Great Eastern Life has announced the continuation of its co-title sponsorship of the Great Eastern-Yeo’s S.League for the next two seasons.

Singapore’s sole professional league, the S.League, got an early boost ahead of their milestone 20th season when they penned a new co-title sponsorship deal with local insurance giants Great Eastern Life spanning 2015 and 2016.

The signing ceremony to commemorate the continued involvement of Great Eastern in the local football fraternity was held on Wednesday morning in the company’s headquarters.

Great Eastern’s Singapore Chief Executive Officer Dr. Khoo Kah Siang was pleased to extend his company’s commitment in the S.League, which will now run into eight years since they were first involved back in 2009.

“Football is more than just a game and it has become very much part of the societal fabric,” he said.

“Great Eastern sees it as our social responsibility to do our part to support the development of Singapore football through our partnership with the S.League.”

Zainudin Nordin, president of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) felt the longevity of the league had weaved it as an integral part of the nation.

“As Singapore celebrates its 50th year of independence, the S.League also celebrates its 20th anniversary this year,” said the Member of Parliament.

“The league has played a key role in raising the standards of local football, thus as such, Great Eastern’s continued involvement is a boost for the league and Singapore football as a whole.”

He also stressed how important it is for more local corporations to come forward and make contribute more positively to the local football scene at large.

“When we talk about sponsorship, it goes beyond the monetary aspects of the deal,” he said.

“It should be a partnership that is more than just dollars and cents, and extends its reach where the parties can work together for the betterment of the society and community.”

Aside from the extension of the co-title sponsorship deal, Great Eastern has also announced it will be granting the wish of the retired league all-time top scorer Aleksandar Duric to conduct football clinics for underprivileged children.

The first two sessions will be conducted during the school holidays in the months of March and June this year, with the maiden one involving kids from the Pertapis Children’s Home and Beyond Social Services.

Duric, who is now a fitness coach with local powerhouses Tampines Rovers, expressed his appreciation of having a dream fulfilled.

“Football is a sport where many kids have dreams to play or be involved in,” said the former national striker, who has also conducted similar clinics in the poorer regions of Southeast Asia in recent years.

“I have always wanted more opportunities to work with underprivileged children and teach them to learn and enjoy to play the Beautiful game, so I am happy Great Eastern is fulfilling my wish.”

The first event under the new deal will see defending league champions Warriors FC and Singapore Cup winners Balestier Khalsa duel at Jalan Besar Stadium on 1 March for the season-opening Great Eastern SG50 Charity Shield match.

It will also double up as a league fixture, with three points going to the eventual winners to the trophy, while all proceeds will be donated by Great Eastern to a fund assisting the needy school-going children.

Photo: Football Association of Singapore