By Serena Tsang | November 17 2020, 10:20 AM SG
“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been”. -Wayne Gretzky
When the 28th South East Asian Games was held in Singapore on 2015, the sponsorship value for the event alone had crossed the $70million mark1, with the inclusion of Deloitte as the biggest sponsor, upholding the industry’s reputation for opportunities and strategic brand association.
The nation had her eye set on the sponsorship industry when the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) announced its location being set in Singapore. Many doubted its success, some had little confidence based on similar experiences in local sporting events. Concerns lingered mostly on returns on investments and visibility, all which had subsequently proven otherwise, when the sponsorship value for YOG had been reported2
The value of sponsorship is usually determined by factors such as brand logo placement, brand visibility, mentions over events, rights of refusal, and footfall interactions. The cost, in turn, ranges from monetary contributions and in-kind contributions. For events as big as the above-mentioned major games, it should not be difficult to align sponsorship goals and achievements to gain success in an objective driven campaign. These goals, however, are slightly different when it comes to sponsoring the national sports associations (NSAs). Associations that spearhead the local communities in sports include providing training for homegrown athletes that perform on an elite level, representing the national flag on international grounds.
A brief chat with a few persons who are involved with their respective NSAs reveal a common struggle in offerings – companies look for success stories before signing a commitment that paves the NSA a path for success. On one hand, it makes perfect sense for sponsors to reduce the risk of unsuccessful investments, in terms of tangible returns. On the other, if companies do not take the opportunity to grow with a pre-successful association, the buy-in for sponsorship at later stages becomes more costly, all for the sake of branding and advertising.
PS-Engage has been a long-term sponsor of the Singapore Ice Hockey Association (SIHA). We found that by supporting the local community of our choice, it had brought us intangible connections and an invaluable sense of belonging through sports. The growth of the community over the years which we had been involved in is an assurance to our contributions and pride. We’ve taken the advice of Gretzky, to move towards where success will be, and not have been. As such, we encourage other businesses to do the same.