Singapore Premier League extends title sponsorship with AIA

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS), has announced that life insurance company AIA Singapore will continue to be the title sponsor of the Singapore Premier League (SPL) until at least 2022.

In the new agreement, AIA have the option to continue their sponsorship for a further three years after the 2022 season – they’ve been partners of the SPL since 2019.

Through the extended sponsorship deal, FAS and AIA are set to involve the SPL with some of AIA’s global ambassadors and partners such as Tottenham Hotspur – AIA are the official shirt sponsor of the London-based club.

The FAS announced that it would be exploring potential opportunities such as having community football clinics for youth players conducted by Tottenham coaches, SPL footballers and FAS coaching staff.

Local Singapore coaches will also be given the opportunity to attend coaching seminars run by Hotspur’s Global Development coaches.

“We are delighted to be able to continue working with AIA Singapore, who have displayed steadfast commitment to lifting local football standards since becoming the title sponsor of the SPL two years ago,” FAS President Mr Lim Kia Tong said.

“This partnership has certainly helped to improve the vibrancy of the Singapore football scene not just from the perspective of our professional league but also in various other aspects such as coaching.

“It is heartening to be able to strengthen our relationship with AIA Singapore and have their continued unwavering support, particularly in these challenging times in an uncertain economic climate.”

The SPL and AIA will also be collaborating to hand out the AIA Player of the Month and AIA Young Player of the Month during the season. This goes alongside the end of season AIA Player of the Year award.

“AIA’s strong ties with football through our global partnership with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club (Spurs) makes supporting local football a natural choice and we are pleased to extend our existing partnership with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS),” AIA Singapore Chief Executive Officer Wong Sze Keed said.

The 2021 SPL season is scheduled to kick off on March 13, 2021.

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Daniel Foley is a sports junior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and micro industry matters.

Football SA extending Development Centres throughout regional and metropolitan areas

Football SA Development Centres

Football South Australia (SA) announced the expansion of its Development Centres for boys and girls from ages nine to 13.

This expansion will offer more football and more opportunities for players in the Barossa, Noarlunga, Port Lincoln and Metropolitan Adelaide.

The five new centres add to the four currently located in the Limestone Coast, Whyalla, Riverland and the Adelaide Hills, taking the total up to nine centres in 2024.

Much of the talk has been the incredible impact that the home soil FIFA Women’s World Cup has had on football participation in the country across all age groups. There has been a notable uptick in player participation in regional areas , registering a 16.5% increase. Across the entire state, there is overall growth of 9%.

The key goal of the Football SA Development Centres expansion is to lay the grassroots foundation in place and create a suitable environment for kids so that their talent is recognised and captured by coaches.

These added sessions as a result of the expansion are designed not to conflict with existing club activities and will enhance players’ fundamental footballing skills.

Football SA Technical Director Michael Cooper touched on the opportunity this opens up for player development at the early ages.

“When we started the original program in 2023, we had the vision to implement a state-wide program that provides equal opportunities for players to progress to our State programs and offerings, which are highly regarded nationally,” Cooper said via Football SA press release.

“Taking our programs to regional South Australia has prevented the need for young players to travel week in week out to Adelaide for specialised coaching. This illustrates our support for regional associations and pathways we collectively offer.

“We are excited to see all players come together at events such as the State Development Carnival in July and I am confident more players will be identified from regional areas in the future.”

An issue Football South Australia touched on in their 2023-2026 Strategic Plan was the lack of regional players making the transition into state and regional squads.

The key function of Football SA, as mentioned on their website, has always been player development and to increase participation. This Development Centre expansion will service the regional communities and allow potential talented players, who weren’t recognised before, to grow through a natural pathway up until they represent state squads.

Cádiz CF outlines plan for new sports technology centre

Cádiz Sportech City

LALIGA football club Cádiz CF has unveiled plans to construct a brand-new sports technology centre which will be known as ‘Sportech City’.

The centre is expected to deliver significant results in the sports technology industry, and assert Cádiz’s position in the top-flight of Spanish football.

In addition, the centre aims to make a positive impact in areas outside of the football club, most notably in health and education. A short video released on its official YouTube channel helped outline the proposed facilities within Sportech City.

These include:

  • A 7,500-square-metre data centre.
  • A dedicated sports university.
  • 5,600 square metres dedicated to laboratories and prototype validation for user experience.
  • An events/congress centre.
  • A technological business incubator centre with 6,100 square metres of offices.
  • Health and medical services.
  • A designated retail zone.

Sportech City is the latest plan to be announced since La Liga introduced its ‘Impulso’ agreement with CVC Capital Partners in 2021. The agreement provided nearly two billion euros (3.3 million AUD) for Spanish football clubs to invest in technology, innovation, internationalisation, and sporting growth initiatives.

Plans for the centre are being coordinated between the club and professional services firm KPMG, who believe the centre will stimulate the local economy. It is estimated that 4,000 jobs will be created for the construction of Sportech City alone, with a further 2,900 jobs expected for the running of the centre.

According to sources within the club, Cádiz CF hopes to generate a minimum of 15 million euros (24.7 million AUD) per year once it begins operation.

Cádiz CF, like many clubs that sit beneath the traditional giants of Spanish football, have suffered a turbulent off-field history.

However, under president Manuel Vizcaíno’s stewardship since 2019, the club attracted overseas investment which helped them return to the top-flight of Spanish football for just the fourth time in its 123-year existence.

Sportech City is hoped to be the next initiative under an ambitious Vizcaíno that will bring success not just to the football club, but to the city of Cádiz.

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