New SMRT partnership has the S.League well on track

In another timely boost to the S.League, the competition officially entered a partnership with SMRT Commercial at Marina South Pier on Friday in a bid to further promote Singapore's only professional sports league. 

The collaboration will last for three years and will result in SMRT placing S.League content across various outlets of the SMRT transport network.

At the launch of the partnership, a concept train containing posters of household names such as Tampines Rovers winger Jermaine Pennant and Garena Young Lions striker Khairul Amri was showcased.

The partnership comes on the back of several huge sponsorship deals the clubs and league itself have secured. Most recently, the Young Lions secured a record-breaking $4 million sponsorship from Garena.

S.League chief executive Lim Chin believes that it bodes well for the competition’s future.

"I think this will be a big boost for the league and clubs – we will definitely be reaching out to a wider audience," he said.

"It’s a very happy thing that many partners have come on board, I think that augurs well for us.

"We have been trying very hard to reach out to more corporations. We are making a lot of efforts to reach out to them as well and I think these efforts have been paying off over the last few years.”

Geylang International’s newly-signed winger Stanely Ng was one of the players to be featured in a life-sized poster on the train and he stated that it was a huge honour.

“Many people might not know much about football here because the lifestyle in Singapore is so fast-paced, but most of them do take the train so maybe they will be more aware of the S.League and can come down and support us as a result,” Ng said.

“I feel honoured of course to be one of the players featured on the train. More people might come to know of me and support me in the league.”

Pennant, on the other hand, joked that commuters may not want to see his image first thing in the morning.

“I don't think they're going to appreciate seeing my face in the morning, but we'll find out,” Pennant quipped.

“I've got my car now so I don't need to get on the train – I took the train in the beginning to move around but I am glad that it's now [posters of me are up] and not when I was on the train.”

He added: “But this promotion should work and get the attention of the public. People who are not aware of the S.League should be aware of it now, so hopefully all the hard work and money spent on this is well worth it.”

SMRT commercial managing director Dawn Low shared that SMRT was thrilled to be part of a partnership with the S.League, adding that similar initiatives have been planned for the future.

"We are coming together in a three-year partnership to create more awareness of the S.League clubs, players and all the matches across SMRT’s advertising networks as well as retail spaces," Low said.

"For the launch it’s a concept train, the first-ever S.League concept train that will run the East-West line.

"For upcoming matches and campaigns we will work with them to see what they want to feature and we will bring out other assets like our double-decked buses, so that on the road we will also get a glimpse."

The S.League commences on Saturday with the season-opening clash between Albirex Niigata (S) and Brunei DPMM at Jalan Besar Stadium.

Irfan Fandi in front of his likeness

Photos: Weixiang Lim/FourFourTwo