Footballing Weekly: Why are sponsors reluctant to support Singapore football?

New projects such as Unleash the Roar! have found it tough convincing companies to come on board in developing the sport

Deloitte Women's Premier League players with the league trophy. (PHOTO: Football Association of Singapore)
The 2022 Women's Premier League was the first season in which the league has a title sponsor in Deloitte. (FILE PHOTO: Football Association of Singapore)

SINGAPORE — One of the common gripes about Singapore football is that it struggles to attract enough sponsorships for the better part of the last 20 years.

While many sponsors came on board for the inaugural season of the S-League in 1996, the Asian financial crisis during the late 1990s saw many of them pull out, and they never returned.

A handful of companies - such as Deloitte, Polar and Sea - have continued their support for Singapore football and its professional clubs. But new projects, such as the high-profile Unleash the Roar! project, have found it difficult to attract sponsors to come on board for the cause of uplifting local football.

Why is there such a reluctance among companies and corporations to support football, which is still one of Singapore's most popular sports despite less-than-spectacular results by the national team?

Is it because everyone is adopting a "wait-and-see-who-goes-first" attitude, preferring to witness a successful sponsorship venture before wading in? Or is there an image problem tied to football that is perhaps causing potential sponsors to be hesitant?

Join the "Footballing Weekly" co-hosts Neil Humphreys and Chia Han Keong, together with special guest James Walton, Deloitte's Southeast Asia sports business group leader, as they analyse the Singapore football sponsorship scene.

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