Singapore – With the hype for the 2024 UEFA European Football Championship–which will happen in a month away–continues across Asia-Pacific, new data from YouGov has revealed that football followers in Australia are most likely to have noticed event sponsors (57%), while half of football followers in Hong Kong (51%) and Indonesia (50%) say the same. In contrast, under two-fifths in Singapore and Thailand (38%) say the same.

In terms of recognising TV programme sponsors–meaning those shown during broadcast of football matches–about half of football followers in Thailand (51%) and Hong Kong (49%) have noticed such sponsorships, ahead of more than two-fifths in Australia (45%) and Indonesia (44%). However, only a quarter in Singapore (26%) say the same.

Meanwhile, in terms of recognising sponsors at the venue, about a third of football followers in Australia (35%) have noticed such sponsorships, ahead of a quarter in Hong Kong and Indonesia (both 24%), and closer to a fifth in Thailand (22%) and Singapore (18%).

Moreover, about a third of football followers in Australia (36%), Thailand (34%) and Indonesia (32%) have noticed sponsorships related to the team’s season sponsor, compared to around a quarter in Singapore (27%) and Hong Kong (25%).

Lastly, the data also shows that most football followers in Indonesia (57%) and Thailand (52%) would support their teams by buying products from their sponsors, with about an eighth (12-13%) expressing strong agreement.

Singapore – Carlsberg Asia has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Grab for a strategic partnership that will transform how consumers enjoy their beer. This partnership will cover awareness and promotional campaigns on GrabAds across four key countries in Southeast Asia (SEA) which includes Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Singapore.

The partnership will kick off with the launch of an exciting football season campaign featuring Liverpool Football Club and a collaborative Responsible Drinking campaign. The partnership also includes the setting up of a virtual store for Carlsberg on the Grab app in Singapore, to make it easier for consumers to order and have their favourite Carlsberg beers delivered.

Carlsberg has been a principal partner of Liverpool Football Club (LFC) for over three decades and became the club’s official beer in 2010. This football season, Carlsberg will bring football excitement to LFC fans across the SEA region by leveraging Grab’s multiple touchpoints, online to offline. 

Carlsberg will also collaborate with GrabAds, Grab’s advertising arm, on a Responsible Drinking campaign later in the year to promote responsible alcohol consumption and prioritise safety by encouraging GrabCar rides. By tapping into Grab’s extensive ecosystem and hyperlocal insights in the region, Carlsberg aims to expand its digital footprint in the region and make its portfolio of products available to a larger audience.

Arindam Varanasi, vice president of commercial for Asia at Carlsberg, said, “As part of Carlsberg Group’s Accelerate SAIL strategy, this exciting partnership will help us drive digital transformation and growth in the region by going beyond traditional retail channels.”

He added, “With our joint forces, we will be able to introduce more drinking moments to consumers and make it easier and safer for them to access Carlsberg’s portfolio of local and international beers and Beyond Beer brands at their doorstep. This will also be a strong initiative to Carlsberg’s continuous efforts in driving responsibility drinking.”

Meanwhile, Ken Mandel, regional head of GrabAds and brand insights, commented, “It’s truly an honour that Carlsberg, one of the world’s leading brewery brands, chose Grab’s advertising arm, GrabAds, to strengthen their brand equity through purposeful consumer campaigns – the LFC partnership and the Responsible Drinking Campaign.”

He added, “This partnership not only showcases the extensive and impactful reach of GrabAds’ online to offline touchpoints but also attests to GrabAds’ effective engagement with high-value consumers who use Grab to engage or transact with brands and merchants every day.”

Seoul, Korea – Global brewing company Heineken has launched their latest ‘LaundroMatch’ campaign, turning 24-hour laundromats into all-night sports bars so that Korea’s most avid football fans now have a place to watch the UEFA Champions League.

To achieve this, Heineken teamed up with LePub APAC and established a partnership with WashEnjoy, one of South Korea’s laundromat franchises, setting up a place for the real hardcore fans to get together and enjoy the games. 

The idea was inspired by the realisation that Asia is home to some of the world’s most hardcore football fans who choose to wake up very early in the morning to watch games live. Specifically, it’s also difficult to watch UEFA Champions League matches together with friends in Korea because most bars are closed at this time. Home might not be the best place to cheer on teams with friends at 4am, either.

The campaign, called ‘LaundroMatch’, launched on 10-11 April with two consecutive events, when fans flocked to WashEnjoy in Seoul to watch teams compete. Additionally, four all-expense paid trips to the final UEFA Champions League 2024 match in June were also up for grabs, promising fans with a dream-come-true experience.

Until June, South Korean fans will be able to scan QR codes found at WashEnjoy laundromats nationwide to access complimentary 30-day SPOTV subscriptions, so they can enjoy the UEFA Champions League quarter and semifinals at a nearby Heineken LaundroMatch.

Talking about the campaign, Giwoun Park, marketing director at Heineken Korea, said, “Heineken believes that being a ‘real hardcore’ football fan isn’t about how you look, it’s about how you behave – anyone who wakes up at ridiculous hours to watch their team, names their pets after their icons, or wears their lucky pair of socks during matches qualifies as hardcore. We wanted to celebrate Asia’s fans who truly live and breathe the sport in a positive, sometimes quirky way. And what could be quirkier than staying up all night to watch the UEFA Champions League at a laundromat?”

Meanwhile, Cyril Louis, executive creative director at LePub APAC, added, “You may think the world’s most passionate football fans are based in Europe or Brazil, but they can actually be found in all corners of the world – cities like Seoul, where fans are crazy enough to stay up all night to cheer on their team. We had the crazy idea of using laundromats to recognize the efforts of these fans and celebrate them with Heineken. When bars are closed, now there is a place for Korea’s real hardcore fans: 24/7 laundromats, transformed by Heineken into go-to venues for enjoying match day with friends.”

Singapore – zujuGP, a digital football platform managed by businessman Kiat Lim and fronted by global football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, has officially launched ‘Kickoff by Zuju’, a first-of-its kind, real-time second-screen fan experience that enables fans to play along during a live football match. 

‘Kickoff by Zuju’ operates within a freemium model and is free-to-play. The users will have the option of purchasing premium features such as virtual goods, gameplay-related benefits, and power-ups, as well as subscriptions to unlock special social interaction and community privileges. 

According to zujuGP, ‘Kickoff by Zuju’ is the first to crack the code for an immersive second-screen football fan experience by providing fans an opportunity to play along with their favourite teams and players in real-time during a live match. 

During a live match, fans using ‘Kickoff by Zuju’ can play along in real-time with their favourite players and teams, on their mobile devices. They can anticipate  micro-events like goals, shot attempts, touches in the penalty box, crosses, and free kicks, all as the match is happening live, which is an upgrade from the traditional fantasy games where “gameplay” occurs prior to the match.

“We are using technology intuitively to elevate the match experience in real-time and create a new football sub-culture. Kickoff by Zuju was inspired by fans all over the world who have long demanded a more engaging and immersive second-screen experience, and we are proud to be able to lead the way,” said Kiat Lim, co-founder of zujuGP.

The football maestro Cristiano Ronaldo will also be featured prominently in a global campaign comprising a series of videos, posts, and activations that will be released on his social channels. 

As part of the campaign, Cristiano Ronaldo will also be releasing a limited-edition collectible card collection exclusively on Kickoff by Zuju. Users will be able to unlock and win copies of these cards, which will be physically delivered to them. In addition, the football star will also be attending real-life engagements such as meet-and-greets exclusive to the platform.

“We are especially excited that Cristiano has been an important part of the development of Kickoff by Zuju, giving us the opportunity to bring fans even closer to players,” continued Kiat Lim.

Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo shared, “Kickoff by Zuju provides fans with an extraordinary opportunity to connect further with the game, their favourite teams, and players. As someone who is deeply passionate about football and giving back to the supporters who have been with me throughout my career, I take immense pride in being part of this platform that elevates the way fans can enjoy the game.”

Singapore – With many Singaporeans following international leagues such as the English Premier League, a majority indicated they could also be encouraged to watch local football, given the right motivation. This was revealed in a recent survey from Yahoo and YouGov, conducted as part of the Season 2 launch of Yahoo’s Footballing Weekly.

While this is a widely held belief amongst Singaporeans (40%) in the study with 40% remaining neutral, there are slight differences amongst generations with older cohorts such as baby boomers (45%) and Gen X (43%) particularly standing tall as advocates of football’s significance, believing that football is important and influential to the culture and identity of Singapore. 

Meanwhile, younger generations such as millennials (35%) and Gen Z (37%) trail slightly behind their older counterparts in this sentiment.

The study also revealed that while only 35% say they currently support local football clubs or the national team, 70% would be encouraged to support a local football club or the national team if at least one of their criteria was fulfilled; the top three criteria identified were talented and skilled players (35%), their hobby or interest (30%); and a strong team spirit (28%).

Moreover, while existing support for local football is equal across generations (Gen Z 36%; Millennials 35%; Gen X 26%; Baby Boomers 34%), younger generations may be key to further fuelling the flames of the country’s passion towards the sport. Gen Z (80%) and Millennials (72%) lead the pack, above the national average (70%), in being potentially interested in local football, citing personal interest as the top criteria.

The survey also showed that Singaporeans who support the national team or local clubs are more optimistic about the country’s aspirations for the Unleash the Roar! project – a bid to develop a national squad that could qualify for the 2034 World Cup. Local football fans (39%) believe that Singapore will be represented at the world’s biggest sporting event within the next 10 years, while only 9% of those who identify as non-supporters agree. 

Fans who indicated their support for the Singapore Premier League (SPL) have a different take: 45% of SPL supporters believe that their partner, spouse, or family should support the same football team, compared to fans of other leagues such as Serie A (35%), UEFA Europa League (34%), Bundesliga (31%), UEFA Champions League (29%), La Liga (29%), and EPL (26%).

Aligning with this sentiment that football, especially local football, is a friends and family affair, respondents indicated that strong community engagements (26%), friend and family support (21%), and a strong team spirit (28%) are amongst the factors that will encourage them to support the local football scene.

Despite their love for the beautiful game, fans are split when it comes to paying to attend live matches. Nearly half (45%) of Singaporeans will not want to attend a live match if they have to pay, whether it involves a top European football club or the Singapore national team at the Singapore National Stadium.

Out of those that were willing to pay to attend a match, respondents were willing to pay more to attend a match involving a top European football club as compared to the Singapore national team: 16% would be willing to pay more than $100 for a top European football club, while only 7% would be willing to pay the same price for the Singapore national team.

The study also revealed that Singaporeans are mixed when it comes to catching the action away from the sidelines: 45% said they tune in to watch live matches online or on TV, with almost a third of respondents (32%) spending up to three hours a week catching up on the game and reliving each important aspect. Meanwhile, 55% said they do not watch live football matches online or on TV.

Chia Han Keong, co-host of Yahoo’s Footballing Weekly and Yahoo editor, said, “Football, after all, is a team sport requiring every player to understand their roles and help his teammates. In Singapore, whether you watch or play football, it builds a community bond that few other sports can manage, and that passion and camaraderie shows up in the findings of this survey.”

He added, “As the first whistle blows on this year’s Yahoo Footballing Weekly, we wanted to take a deeper dive into the perspectives, behaviours, and attitudes of Singaporeans towards football. The insights uncovered are enlightening especially as we ponder on the current state and future fortunes of Singapore football. As a nation, we have always loved the sport, but there is clearly a long way to go before the national team can taste sweet success.”

USA – Global food company PepsiCo has announced a new multi-year global partnership with game developer EA Sports to deliver football-centric entertainment experiences for fans as part of the upcoming game release ‘EA Sports FC’. As part of this agreement, PepsiCo brands – Pepsi, Gatorade, and Lay’s – will join forces with EA’s football gaming franchise, EA Sports FC.

This collaboration enables them to work together to offer happy gaming experiences for modern football fans, while also confirming PepsiCo’s commitment to engaging fan experiences that include football, music, and gaming.

Adam Warner, head of global sports and partnerships at PepsiCo, said, “EA SPORTS is an iconic brand in the realm of football and has revolutionized fan engagement. With PepsiCo’s history and extensive involvement in football and entertainment, our brands are uniquely positioned to push the boundaries of football fandom. This partnership enables us to reach football fans and communities worldwide, and to provide them with experiences that elevate their connection to the beautiful game.”

Meanwhile, David Jackson, vice president of brand at EA Sports FC, said, “For years, PepsiCo’s brands have been delivering memorable moments for football fans, and we’re energised to incorporate that rich heritage into our own experiences as we set forth on this remarkable journey with EA SPORTS FC. We’re proud to partner with PepsiCo to create more unmissable experiences that will undoubtedly captivate fans of the World’s Game.”

Singapore – Global communications agency Redhill has teamed up with the Geylang International Football Club (GIFC) to drive women’s football in Singapore by boosting its visibility in the country and highlighting the players and their achievements, as well as promoting a positive image of the sport. 

Through this partnership, Redhill will provide sponsorship in addition to strategic communications support to help promote the Women’s Premier League team, its talented players within GIFC, and to connect with a wider audience.

Said partnership is expected to bring greater visibility and recognition to women’s football. The Women’s Premier League is an opportunity to showcase the talent, dedication, and hard work of the players within GIFC and other clubs in Singapore.

For Redhill CEO Jacob Puthenparambil, they are proud of supporting the organisation, stating that said partnership will serve as an inspiration for young women to join the team and fuel their commitment to strengthening community outreach efforts.

“We are confident that our partnership will help promote women’s football in Singapore and showcase the exceptional players within the Women’s Premier League.Our shared commitment to excellence and diversity will undoubtedly create a positive impact on women’s football in Singapore and beyond. We are excited to embark on this journey with GIFC and look forward to the upcoming season of the Women’s Premier League,” he said.

Meanwhile, Thomas Gay, chairman of Geylang International, commented, “As a global communications agency, their support towards promoting women’s football in Singapore and showcase our talented athletes within our club will be invaluable. We believe this partnership will help us to raise the profile of women’s football in Singapore and encourage more women to take up the sport.”

Redhill has recently ventured into supporting programmes and strengthening their offerings. In December 2022, the agency launched Redhill Lancers, a programme aimed at supporting early-stage startups. It has also acquired VS Story in September 2022 to bolster the agency’s sustainability offerings.

Singapore – Market measurement firm Nielsen has released new data to list the most influential players on Instagram, with all of the listed players to play at the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been a global superstar for nearly 20 years with Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus, again increased his Instagram following in the past year with around 47% follower growth. He leads the list with a media value of US$3,585,218.

Following next is Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi with a media value of US$2,631,388 and Brazilian footballer Neymar with a media value of US$1,152,495. Other high-ranking players include French football player Kylian Mbappé (US$1,173,157 media value) and Brazilian player Vinícius Júnior (US$685,120).

Meanwhile, Spanish footballer Gavi ranks first in the breakthrough players list on Instagram, with an expected media value of US$377,305 and an engagement rate of 29.46%. Following him is Brazilian player Raphinha with a media value of US$22,727 and engagement rate of 3.59% and Brazilian player Antony with media value of US$106,229 and engagement rate of 12.42%. 

Other breakthrough players include Spanish player Pedri (US$255,212 media value and 13.20% engagement rate), Argentinian player Rodrigo De Paul (US$206,983 media value and 13.34% engagement rate), and Brazilian player Rodrygo (US$119,726 media value and 5.42% engagement rate).

Marco Nazzari, managing director of international sport at Nielsen said, “With dozens of the world’s most recognizable athletes competing for football’s ultimate prize, the World Cup will capture the attention of nearly a billion people. This event provides brands unique opportunities to partner with the right footballers to effectively engage their target audiences. Nielsen InfluenceScope evaluates all aspects of a particular player’s influence so that brands can ensure that they receive a proper rate-of-return for the right investment.”

Bangkok, Thailand – LaLiga Pass, the over-the-top (OTT) platform offering of Spanish football division LaLiga, will be made available to fans in Thailand, giving them access to LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank matches.

LaLiga Pass has also been made available to fans in Indonesia as part of the Asian offering of the OTT platform.

Through LaLiga Pass, fans in both countries will become the first in the world to have LaLiga Pass available for their mobile devices and televisions, a step that allows LaLiga to get even closer to its fans, making them owners of the content and allowing them to enjoy an increasingly personalised fan experience.

Along with live coverage of every LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank match, LaLiga Pass users will also have access to match round-ups, documentaries, videos of the best goals and saves, interviews and other exclusive content designed for each country.

In addition, each matchday will feature three LaLiga Santander matches narrated in the local language, something that only LaLiga Pass users will be able to enjoy.

Alfredo Bermejo, digital strategy director at LaLiga, said, “One of the keys of the entertainment sector is to be able to offer a high degree of personalisation, to speak to each fan in their own language and to provide them with quality content adapted to their tastes and needs. We believe that LaLiga Pass, and all the technology behind it, is a big step in this direction and will be a great option for those who want to enjoy LaLiga and everything that surrounds it.”

Furthermore, LaLiga Pass will also represent a new business model that will both improve the fan experience and attract more LaLiga fans as well as provide a technology that can be commercialised and exploited by other companies through LaLiga Tech.

Oscar Mayo, executive director at LaLiga, commented, “LaLiga Pass is a logical step in our audiovisual strategy. Over the last few years we have strived to improve the experience for fans watching LaLiga from different parts of the world and we now want to take things a step further by allowing them to have more control over what they watch, offering more and better content, and telling more stories around LaLiga and its clubs in those countries.”

Singapore — Singapore-based global GameFi platform, Digital Entertainment Asset (DEA), has struck a partnership with the Japanese-affiliated Cambodian football club Angkor Tiger FC.

Angkor Tiger FC will participate in DEA’s play-to-earn ecosystem as a ‘gaming guild’ as part of this partnership. To that extent, the football club will purchase NFTs of digital assets and in-game items on DEA’s gaming platform ‘PlayMining’ by utilising the investment funds of the club’s sponsors. Within the DEA ecosystem, gaming guilds are organisations that invest in NFTs of the platform’s Play-to-Earn games and generate revenue from the games by playing them in an organized manner.

Naohito Yoshida, CEO of DEA, said, that the business models DEA is working on under ‘PlayMining,’ such as GameFi and Play to Earn, are not only a fusion of gaming and fintech but also aimed at solving sustainable social issues and helping people around the world to achieve their goals.

“We are committed to ensuring that the efforts of DEA and Angkor Tiger FC will contribute to creating jobs and improving people’s livelihood in Cambodia,” Yoshida said.

Akihiro Kato, Angkor Tiger FC’s owner, is optimistic that this partnership will help strengthen the Cambodian economy and the club simultaneously. He added that their aim is to be more than just a football club.

“In our hometown of Siem Reap, usually a vibrant tourist destination, many people have lost their jobs because of the Corona pandemic. As we were thinking about what we could do as a club besides soccer, we met Mr Yoshida and decided to start the Tiger Guild project because we saw the possibility of improving the livelihood of our supporters and the people of Siem Reap. I would like to team up with DEA to create a new form of club management for the next era,” Kato said.

Through this partnership with DEA, the Cambodian football club aims to help create new income streams in Cambodia by leveraging DEA’s diverse range of play-to-earn games. Additionally, the football club has also insisted that supporters who earn rewards by participating in the play-to-earn games deposit their winnings for club-related activities, which will accelerate the stimulation of Angkor Tiger FC’s economic zone.